Tuesday, March 31, 2009

surrounded by stormtroopers


last tuesday my good friend tyler phillips asked if i could video an event for him.
this event was a Q & A with the author of a book... forgive me... not just a book, but a book about star wars.

i love star wars just as much as the normal everyday person who doesn't live in their parents basement, but some people take it to the extreme.

tyler is part of the 501st legion.

what does that mean you ask?

it means he dresses up like a stormtrooper and does charity events, book signings, and what ever else a grown man may do in white plastic.

so we arrive at the event and first thing we are pointed towards the "receiving room" (insert jokes here. jokes only please.). then i witness the true nature of a fan. they share stories of the force. what rebel they are hunting at the time. what their armor is made of. very interesting... i leave the room to go look at books.
finally the time comes for me to record this earth shattering event.

tyler and the rest of the stormtroppers escort the author down to the stage.

the crowd is silent.

the sun is setting.

the ones who haven't left their parents basement in years let out a sigh of relief.

the sun no longer can burn their pasty white flesh.

the author begins to speak.

the crowd soaks up his every word.

i wonder what in the world he is talking about.

am i not a true star wars lover?

am i just a wannabe?

i allow my mind to wonder while recording.

i start to make fun of the people around me.

my friend nate is standing beside me. i look to him to laugh. i look to him to help me make fun of the "mole people", but i discover he is also a mole person. maybe not the the extreme as the rest of the crowd, but he is one of them deep down.

i feel out of place.

i feel like the black ball in a bag full of white ones.

i feel very cool.

many of you may read this and think i am being rude, but i am not.

it turns out that i really enjoyed myself.

sure there were some dorks, but who am i to judge. i read comics. i wear superhero underwear.

it was just nice to feel cool for a few hours.

below i am going to paste the article my friend tyler wrote of the 501st. that is all i am going to say about that.



Troop final roster:
Tyler - TK
Justin - TK
Tony - Clone
Darren - Boba
Cadet - TK
Deb - Officer
Mike - Jedi
???? - Rebel Trooper
Angie - Photographer
Betty - Betty
Ben - Angies handler

Early morning trip report:

I got there with a handler (Tommy) around 6:15 and by that time Justin, Cadet, and Mike (Jedi) were already suiting up in an upstairs room. Made contact with the girls runnin the show for us, super sweet ladies who laid out some simple plans.
Tony and his son got there and we started suiting up. The girls from the store brought Aaron in and introduced us. We got some books set back and went ahead and got them signed. Darren showed up about 20 mins before the event started and had a record setting time gettin into his Boba. Then we had a surprise guest show up, Deb came and asked if we needed her to suit up in her Officer, that was a dumb question. It really helped having someone who could hear and see. We also had a last minute rebel like the ones on Tantive IV show up so we had a nice set of targets.

7:05 we roll out escorting Aaron to the fountain area. There was a nice crowd gathered waiting for the Q&A and a pretty nice crowd out in the store waiting for the 501st! We were positioned behind the stage during the the Q&A. They gave us a nice intro then let Aaron talk and he even mentioned us in one of his stories. Then gave Aaron a nice easy to follow escort to his signing table, we stood guard and let him get situated then moved out to mingle with the crowd. As soon as we moved a good portion of the people around the signing area moved with us.

Lots of parents had brought there kids out to see us and they moved away from the line which actually helped people in the line move through faster. We had a good time takin picks and entertaining the kids big and small. We handed out lots of tattoos and cards, it seems like gifts will really open up shy or scared kids to the bad guys.

I think we made contact with some potential recruits and actually had one guy there acting as a handler who is interested in some of Coreys clone armor. There were some really great moments too, I had an excellent moment with a kid that was a little timid of the troopers. We played a game of "copy cat" or what ever you call it where I mocked all his actions and words and he really opened up and had fun and lost his fear of the TK's.
Tony had a great moment with a young fan that he can tell you about. Just around 9:10 we noticed that we had an extra TK who turned out to be TK-Tim who had snuck in on us.

We hung around until everyone had went through the line to get their book signed. The last person was the Pres of the KSWCC and his little kid was standin there singing the Star Wars theme it was pretty cool to hear a little voice belting out "Da Daa Dun, Da Daa Dun, Da Daaaa Dun Dun"

Then Aaron posed with us for the mandatory group shots with buckets on and off. He finished signing store stock and then I gave him a ride to TGI Fridays to eat with us. We kinda overwhelmed them with our big crowd that late but they were awesome and took great care of us. Aaron seemed to have a good time just relaxing and hanging out, he said he really appreciated what the 501st did here and everywhere. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we rolled out around 11:30. TK-Tim assisted in givin Aaron a ride downtown to his hotel. Aside from the wacky troubles that seem to follow me and him on all troops everything went like clockwork.

Excellent troop MSG, wish some of the TN guys could make it but understand that its hard to do a late troop on a weeknight.
Im sure there is more that other people want to add like (Betty and Angie gettin in trouble for talkin) and pics to come.

--
Tyler Phillips
TK-1143
www.501stso.com

link

6 comments:

tonyyork said...

the, uh, picture is, uh, a little, uh, disturbing.

Great post! And the picture is priceless.

Tommy said...

tony,
if you think that is disturbing clink on the link. tell me what you think about those pictures.

tonyyork said...

which link?

Tommy said...

it's at the bottom of this post.. it says link! :)

tonyyork said...

booo... company network blocks the link... will have to peruse it at home.

Anonymous said...

Very nice article, totally what I was looking for.


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