Tag Archives: 501st

Star Wars Weekends Parade

This past weekend I attended the final 2015 Disney’s Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World! It was a fantastic experience as usual, and I had a lot of fun experiencing Disney, going to panels with Star Wars guests, and hanging out with friends, family, and fellow fans, podcasters, and bloggers! At each Star Wars weekend, they have a parade in the mornings with a strong 501st and Rebel Legion presence, and the main Star Wars guests and hosts in attendance that weekend. This year I had the pleasure of watching the parade with my sister and brother-in-law who had never been to a Star Wars weekend, and of course with a number of fellow bloggers and podcasters in a location with a great view of the parade. Without further ado, here are photos from the parade!

Me waiting for the parade to start with Brian and Nanci of Tosche Station.

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What are You Most Thankful for in Star Wars?

As Star Wars fans, we’re often thinking of our favorite characters, having discussions about Star Wars with fellow fans and friends, analyzing the latest, comic, book or The Clone Wars episode, and (typically) having a good time doing so. Our normal state of fandom, as with any fandom, I believe, usually remains in this zoomed in state. A state of consumption, reaction, and creative impulse like cosplay, blogging or podcasting, etc. Sometimes we take a look at what began it all for us. A particular friend who pestered us about watching that first Star Wars movie, a book that caught your eye while in Barnes and Noble, or a cool action figure that excited your imagination with thoughts of sword fights and blaster battles. But with the nature of today’s holiday I’ve asked: What are you thankful for in Star Wars?

I’ll paraphrase for the sake of keeping it short, but some responses I’ve seen are:

I’m thankful for the awesome people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made in the fan community.

I’m thankful for the books that opened up a universe for me to explore.

I’m thankful for all these awesome toys I can collect.

I’m thankful for TCW, particularly that I can have a great time watching it with my kids.

I’m thankful for the costuming/cosplaying community (501st, Rebel Legion and others) and all the great charity work they do.

I’m thankful for the movies, they were life-changing for me, and are always awesome to watch.

I’m thankful for GL and his vision. He created a universe quite unlike any other.

I’m thankful for the countless people who’ve added a little bit of themselves to this franchise, the artists, the authors, the fans, the producers, etc.

As I looked back at all of these, it made me ponder a bit. Sometimes I think we forget just how vast and interesting, detailed and fun this Star Wars franchise is. There is something to enjoy for just about any person, and the community created around this franchise provides us all with a place to make friends, learn, kick back, have fun, and love the WARZ!

What are you most thankful for in Star Wars?

~ Bethany Blanton 

What Star Wars Fans Can Learn From The WPLG Debacle

Dungeons and Dragons jokes, mocking people’s costumes, statements like: “Dateless men for as far as the eye can see.”, and “They’ve never seen a woman before.” are only a handful of the mean spirited and contemptuous comments from the still-anonymous producer over at WPLG Local 10.

He targeted children in costume saying: “Poor kids… they were never given a chance. Geekdom is in their genes”. He targeted the elderly saying “Someone got lost looking for the AARP convention”.  He targeted both men and women. The list goes on. There were 45 of these “funny” slideshow captions. I still remember seeing a link to this in my Facebook feed early that morning and clicking through to read this slide show. I didn’t even finish it. I’ll admit, it struck a nerve with me. I thought to myself: “I wish every Star Wars fan-site in the world would call this guy out.” Little did I know… Fast forward to the next day when the slide show went down and back up several times and finally an apology was issued. No, not the final one you’re thinking of from David Boylan (the VP and General Manager WPLG Miami). No. The first apology read something like this:I love how Elvira from PinkSith put it:

That’s not really an apology. It was insincere and smacked of defiance.  Like having to apologize because your mom made you do it, but having to say it in front of your buddies so you word it juuuust so. That way you save face with your cool bros and make mom happy too.  Only Mom isn’t an idiot and reminds you that your apology was BS and calls you on it.

So what do you do?

Well you delete the apology of course! Yup.  Only minutes after posting it, WPLG deleted it from their Facebook page.  Brilliant! (not)

This is where Mr. Anonymous Producer really showed his true colors. (If he hadn’t already.) This fellow, in my opinion, is not a Star Wars fan. Sure, he may have enjoyed the movies when he was a kid. He may “like” Star Wars but he’s no “fan”. Although sadly, him being a “fan” seems the be WPLG’s main defence of the slide show. Even at the end of the original set of slides he ends with saying that:

And in full disclosure… it should be said that the person who put this slideshow together, and wrote ALL the captions, attended Star Wars Celebration VI (their second Celebration event) as a full-paying fan and lover of all-things Star Wars.”

I believe this is what bothered me the most. This is what struck a nerve. I think he felt free to jab and jeer at Star Wars fans as long and he bandied about the statement that he was “one of us”. As Star Wars fans, we’ve all heard something that sounds like this before. Because we like the prequels, or the EU, or The Clone Wars, we’ve been ridiculed before by our “fellow” Star Wars fans.

This reminds me of the Red Letter Media prequel reviews. Mike Stoklasa’s ridicule and mockery of the Star Wars prequels and anyone who happens to like them is a sentiment that is not unlike this WPLG slide show. While the RLM reviews seemingly target three films, buried beneath all of the logical fallacies, rape jokes and suicide jokes is the same dismissive, superior, and contemptuous attitude towards not just Sci Fi fans, not just Star Wars fans, but men, women or children…

This is the kind of arrogant attitude that simply doesn’t see people as people. This attitude thinks that people are just vehicles for one’s entertainment. If they’re different than you, then something must be wrong with them. That is wrong. I’m so glad that Star Wars fans everywhere wouldn’t stand for it.

WPLG has since offered not one but two formal apologies. One on their website, and one to the 501st via their Facebook page. Let’s take this as a lesson to stand up for our fellow human beings, not just in the context of the Star Wars fan community, but anywhere. When you see someone mocking and ridiculing others, remember, they aren’t “just having some fun”, they’re robbing that person of their human dignity.

Thank for reading,

Riley Blanton

Host of the Star Wars Report podcast, Tech enthusiast, former CAP cadet. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of… well… other people.

Hughes the Force Screening Coming in Seattle Washington!

Closing Reception for Ltd. Art Gallery’s Star Wars Exhibition Featuring Screening of “Hughes the Force”

The reception will be Saturday, January 28th, 6-10pm, at Ltd. Art Gallery in Seattle, WA

Hughes The Force” Screening at 8pm

In celebration of the closing of Ltd. Art Gallery’s Star Wars Exhibition, “These Are the Droids You’re Looking For”, a reception will be held at the gallery and will feature the Seattle premiere, and only third public showing, of the short film Hughes the Force.

There will be refreshments, film swag giveaways, and appearances by costumed Star Wars characters courtesy of the 501st and Rebel Legions.

The much acclaimed art show, on display since December 8th, features artwork from ACME Archives, and featuring art from Ralph McQuarrie, Brian Rood, Steve Thomas, Greg Peltz, Andrew Wilson, Augie Pagan, Andrea Wicklund, and many more.

The screening will be followed by a short Q&A featuring Special Guests from the film’s cast and crew including: Lead Actors Taylor Treadwell(Leia), Nathaniel Weiss (Simon) & Producer Ruark Dreher.

About “Hughes the Force”

Hughes the Force is a 30-minute short film tribute to Star Wars and John Hughes. People from around the world grew up with, or can identify with, the characters and stories of John Hughes’ movies (The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller, etc.). Similarly, Star Wars is more than a mere film franchise, it has become an integral part of our culture for the past 30+ years.

Simon and Henry, two teens tortured by jocks and rejected by girls, are invited to the epic end of the year high school party, but there’s a catch. In order to get in, they need to bring just one hot girl. Unable to attract any female attention, they decide to take matters into their own hands and create the perfect woman from Simon’s prized Slave Leia action figure. Armed with a fully operational lightsaber and blaster, the two set out with their self-appointed mentor to do what they have never done before: fit in. On their journey, they encounter stormtroopers, aliens, Obi-wan Kenobi, Padme, a Dark Lord of the Sith, and even Director Kevin Smith in the most unlikely of places. But even with the Force as their ally, some things are not meant to be…

Celebrity Cameo Appearances in the film include:

Now freely available for digital download is the prequel comic revealing the adventures of Henry and Simon leading up to the beginning of the film.

Producer/Writer/Director J.C. Reifenberg – mega Star Wars Fan and John Hughes hometown Alumnus, Producer Ruark Dreher, and Producer/Writer Steven Koistinen assembled a team of passionate, professional filmmakers and actors to bring the story to life. Additional information can be found at www.hughestheforce.com, Facebook.com/HughesTheForce, and on Twitter,@HughesTheForce.

All Media inquiries regarding the film should be directed to Parker Publicity info@parkerpublicity.com

Disclaimer: Hughes the Force is a not-for-profit project for private use and is in no way associated with Lucasfilm or any other company. Star Wars is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.