June 13, 2009
Story by Chris "Darth" Spice
Photos from Ryan Furtkamp & Phyllis Schulte


It has been over two years since we took part in filming the Star Wars fan-film The Force Among Us. It has been quite a journey since the staff of Sandtroopers.com spent a Saturday with the crew of Cris Macht and company. Even though some of the names have changed on the roster since the movie has been completed, our mission has remained the same. I will say when we took on the honor of taking part in this project, I didn't think we would be doing any sort of press at all. Yet much to my surprise years later, the Midwest Garrison was invited to WGN studios to help promote the one night only Chicago premier of the film at the Gene Siskel film center.

The morning would begin with a lovely tour of the Illinois highway transportation system, as we only have two seasons here: winter and construction. With traffic as thick as Master Yoda's soup, I decided it would be best to put the Dewback on the road early. A landing party of several Storm, Snow and of course Sandtroopers would serve Lord Vader for the morning festivities. There was also a TIE Pilot, Jawa, Boba Fett and several other characters. The places that I have had to travel to take on the persona of TD 7306 of the 501st Legion has led me down many different paths in the few years I've been in the group, but I did not recall ever being on television! Even in costume I still couldn't help but to be a tad nervous. Also it wasn't since the days of Bozo the Clown had I ever thought of WGN at seven o'clock in the morning. To think I was getting dressed in the very dressing room as one of my childhood icons was pretty flattering if not just a tad humbling.

We kicked off the morning with a siege of the newsroom. The cameramen worked their magic as several of use looked to run things Imperial style in the control room. Lord Vader accompanied our merry band through the weather and several other news segments. It was also great for Cris to let the entire Chicagoland area know where they could see The Force Among Us for one night only tonight. It was no doubt a pretty cool experience and we can only look forward to our weekend of the Windy City premier. We hope any of our local ground forces can come out and join us. As the Empire IS the news! United We Find.


WGN Morning News
Premier at Gene Siskel Center