LEGION INVADES THE CON
The 501st Legion and Midwest Garrison presence at this con was outstanding. The local area troopers did a fantastic job on their booth. Motor City gave the legion a huge amount of space and the Midwest Garrison put it to good use. The main 501st tables were loaded with legion information along with props and various 501st helmets. Behind the table were many life size Star Wars statues and costumes on display. On the left side was the “Blaster Range” where kid’s could test their skills shooting foam darts at Star Wars stand-ups. The prizes were Legion tattoo’s and trading cards. Right of the main table was an impressive life size Jabba the Hutt with C-3PO, R2-D2 and a slave Leia costume. Out in front was a great Death Star surface diorama with gun tower and three X-Wing fighters. Finally, behind all of this was a dressing area for the all of the costumers.
Anyone who wears a costume knows how important it is to have somewhere to change. This was especially good because they had tables and chairs to use, water and even snacks. I was even able to leave my costume bin in the changing area for the entire con! No taking it back and forth to the hotel room. Everyone who organized the Motor City 501st Legion area should be proud of what they did. The table and displays looked excellent and even Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) said that it was the most professional 501st display that he’d ever seen.
The 501st Droid Hunt went very well also. Many fans and celebrities got to interact with the legion troops as they hunted for Droid Hunt badges. Once a trooper “confiscated” a participant’s droid badge, the participant then got a numbered ticket to keep. At the end of the hunt, everyone with a ticket gathered at the Legion table as numbers were drawn for donated S tar Wars prizes. The top prize was a custom built, force FX style lightsaber. The little boy that won it was extremely happy.
Every day at 1:00pm, the 501st/Midwest Garrison organized a parade through the con. The parade worked its way through the con and would stop at the Star Wars celebrity tables, saluting the Honorary members and making different presentations. The parade would end back at the 501st booth, and it was made even better because any kid dressed in a Star Wars costume could join in. The fans really liked that.
Doug Wangler and I made the trip over on Friday the 18th. Doug is the model for the Star Wars Expanded Universe character, Quinlan Vos. Doug’s table was next to Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and at the next table was Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). Both of these celebrities, including their wives, are always great to see and talk with. Doug got to meet many Quinlan Vos fans, signed autographs and he posed for pictures. On the other side of Doug’s table was Eddie Deezin. Eddie was Eugene in the movie Grease and was the voice of Mandark in Dexter’s Laboratory. Eddie was also the voice of the know-it-all kid in the Polar Express. Eddie is a very genuine person and I was glad to meet him. I stopped by his table, in my Darth Vader costume, and he was nice enough to take a picture with me. I also got to meet Connor Trineer and Dominic Keeting from Star Trek: Enterprise and Jonathan Fra kes from Star Trek: TNG. Billy West, voice actor for Futurama, Popeye and many other characters was another celebrity I met. This con had a wide range of celebrities to meet and it helped make the con a success.
Sandtrooper Chip Childress, out.