Star Wars Reads Day: The Empire Invades!

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Greetings Bothans! What follows is a post about some adventures had at this past weekend’s Star Wars Reads Day! Many of you will already be familiar with Paul DePaola who writes for a number of Star Wars fan sites and is also a podcaster, but be sure to check out his geek site Fanboys Talking! With that, I’ll let Paul take it away! ~ Bethany Blanton

The third annual Star Wars Reads event was held on Saturday, October 12th.  Troopers from all over the Empire showed up at their local book stores and libraries to celebrate literacy and reading.  I attended the event as a member of the 501st Legion, “trooping” my local Barnes & Noble as a Sandtrooper.

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For the members of the 501st and Rebel Legion this can be one of the biggest events for the year, with events happening in thousands of locations all across the country and internationally.  My garrison, Garrison Tyranus, had more than a dozen different events across the state of Virginia.  Many members made it to multiple events on the same day, and some drove an hour or more to attend multiple events.

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Star Wars Reads  Day combines many of the Legion’s favorite activities, giving back to the community, entertaining the children, and of course, celebrating all things Star Wars.  There were activities and handouts for the kids to celebrate the Star Wars saga, but also raise awareness for the many different books available for all different ages and reading levels from the various Star Wars publishers.

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The store employees seemed to enjoy our presence as much as the attendees.  They asked us for pictures before we could even leave our changing area.  One manager jokingly asked if we could do this every weekend.

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The plan for this event was pretty simple: entertain the people, pose for pictures and make for good set dressing while the employees read to the kids and hosted different activities.  After a while the Empire’s finest began to wander Barnes & Noble.  I love the reactions, seeing the kids eyes light up and seeing the adults turn into little kids.  Some are frightened of us, others immediately want to be our best friends.  At an event like Star Wars Reads you can bet most of the troopers have huge grins under our helmets.

Paul DePaola

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