Stormtroopers to lead George Lucas into battle at Monday’s Rose Bowl Parade
I used to think I was a diehard Star Wars fan – heck, I stood in line for hours to just buy tickets when Episode IV was re-released in the late 90s, and I managed to see The Phantom Menace almost three times before opening day, not to mention having a small collection of Star Wars Pez, Legos, and an odd assortment of action figures…
Anyway, as far as Star Wars fan, I’ve learned that I’m a lightweight. On the opposite end are people that attempt to relive the Star Wars lifestyle – many of these nerfherders are active members of the 501st Legion, an international group that dress up as Star Wars characters at conventions, for roleplaying, and sometimes even paid gigs.
This Monday at the Rosebowl Parade, aka the Tournament of Roses, around 200 members of the 501st will don their Stormtrooper outfits, and led by Darth Vader himself, will march in the 118th Rose Parade.
From the LA Times:
The group will march along the 5 1/2 -mile parade route alongside two “Star Wars” floats, a 176-member band from Grambling State University, eight flag bearers, eight dancers dressed as Twi’leks and a Jedi Knight drum leader.
And Grand Marshall at this year’s parade? George Lucas, creator/God of Star Wars.
His appearance, along with the Lucasfilm organized participation of the 501st, is no mere coincidence. 2007 marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars debut… and this May, Los Angeles will host Star Wars Celebration IV, a weeklong convention to be held downtown.
As for paid Storm Trooper gigs, last week I spotted this ad on Craigs List offering $100 and free drinks to anyone who would attend their party (and perhaps guard the door) on New Years Eve… Wookies and Darths also encouraged to apply.