Tag Archives: Clone Wars

A Trooper’s Point of View: Brotherhood

In previous columns I’ve gone over the ins and outs of being a trooper in the 501st Legion, what it’s like to wear the costumes, building the costumes and more.  This time we are shifting the focus to outside of the costumes.

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The 501st is a lot of things, but first and foremost we are a club.  A place for like minded people to gather and celebrate their shared love of Star Wars and costuming.  There were a lot of things I did not realize about the Legion before joining, one of the biggest things was the friendship and bonds that would form.  Never was this more evident than at the most recent Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim.  The 501st Legion is a worldwide group and a major event like Celebration pulls people in from all corners of the globe.

Even before arriving in Anaheim I had already met several Legion members en route in the Atlanta airport.  I’m not the most outgoing person and I’m usually the last person who will talk to a random stranger, especially in an already awkward and stressful place like the airport.  But seeing others wearing their Legion T-shirts was like seeing a familiar face in the crowd.  As the convention progressed I found myself spending time with Legion members from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and all over the US.

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How does something as silly as dressing like plastic spacemen connect us?

Just from my own experience when I first took the plunge to join I had no idea what I was doing.  That forced me to join the various forums and community for tips and tricks on building.  Going through that first build was an experience unto itself, but it was also one that every member had been through.  The agonizing late nights as you try desperately to get the pieces to work, the frustration as it doesn’t work and you have to undo or redo hours of work.  We’ve all been through it before, so we want to help others in getting it done.

Once you are approved and you are out there trooping you spend countless hours side by side with the same people.  Trooping is physically exhausting so most events end with a gathering for food and sharing stories.  It’s easy to see how bonds can form.

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In Star Wars this connection is mirrored with the Clonetroopers.  As soon as the troopers were introduced in the Attack of the Clones the expanded universe began to write stories of the troopers being a brotherhood, sharing a common bond and being a part of something bigger.  They were all brothers in arms.  The 501st is much the same.  We all come from different backgrounds but share this common thread that connects us.  I like to think that the way the clones acted and connected may have been at least partially inspired by the Legion and it’s members.

Star Wars Day Resolutions- TWL #128

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Prequel Dreams- TWL #119

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Star Wars: The Next Generation “Star Wars on TV”

Star Wars: The Next Generation
Star Wars on TV

For those of my generation (what JimmyMac often calls, “The Star Wars Generation”), between the Star Wars films and after the original trilogy had finished, virtually the only way a fan could get his fix was to watch one of the specials or cartoon series on television.  In a world decades away from the Information Age, children learned to schedule their time around these somewhat rare opportunities to revisit that galaxy far, far away.  While their parents were sometimes confused by the intricacies of the developing technology of video cassette recorders, their children became adept at setting the timers on the family VCRs and programming them to record these shows so they could be watched over and over.

And watch them, we did.  Repeatedly.  I wore out my copies of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back as well as E.T. and Friends, the CBS special from 1982.  Those that survived, however, offered me an opportunity to introduce these classic elements of Star Wars to my own children many years later.

Both of my children were born a couple weeks after the initial releases of the first prequel movies.  By the time they could comprehend what was happening on the television screen, we already owned The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones on DVD, so the dearth of Star Wars content I had known as a child never affected them.  But I had some of these treasures from my childhood available for them to watch whenever I wanted to introduce another aspect of Star Wars to them.

DroidsAs they became enamored with the brief Clone Wars clips which aired on Cartoon Network before the release of Revenge of the Sith, I introduced them to the Droids and Ewoks cartoons that were released on DVD in 2004.  They loved watching them.  Their interest prompted me to pull out Dad’s old Betamax player and digitize some of the other episodes of the Nelvana cartoons so they could watch them, as well.  As the excitement surrounding Star Wars: The Clone Wars grew, I made a DVD for them with more episodes of both shows.  They became acquainted with Thall Joben, Jord Dusat, and Kea Moll.  They laughed at the antics of the Ewoks.  They were ready for more cartoon adventures in the Star Wars universe when August rolled out the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the subsequent start to the five-season series on Cartoon Network.

Just like the days of my own childhood, my children would plan their activities around watching The Clone Wars on Friday nights.  They loved meeting new characters and wondering how they would fit into the larger story of Star Warsiu-8Every season premier was a big event in our home, giving us reason to drink Ahsoka Cola and Yoda Soda while munching on Clone Cookies in front of the television for thirty minutes as a family.  We travelled to Dallas to meet the voice actors behind their favorite characters.  We collected toys, books, games, and artwork.  While the movies were the foundation of my Star Wars fanaticism, this new animated series quickly became the bedrock of theirs.

Our conversations on car rides often revolve around unfinished stories and themes from these television shows.  The tones of my daughter singing “The Fate of Ahsoka” (her favorite Star Wars character by far) by High Adventure can be heard throughout the house as she spontaneously erupts in song any given afternoon.  My son continues to reenact battles between heroes and villains from this series alone or with his friends.

Don’t underestimate the power of television to instill fandom in the next generation.

Two Reasons to Buy The Lost Missions Blu-Ray (Plus Giveaway)

Note: To win your very own copy of Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions simply follow @StarWarsReport and tweet us who your favorite Clone Wars character is and why! Contest ends 11/13/2014 at midnight (tonight)!

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Ok, I may have already given away in my thoughts on the Lost Missions in the headline of this article, but seriously, you need to go out and buy the Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions [Blu-ray] through our Amazon link today!

  1. The quality of the visual effects in simply astounding. The Clone Wars Team truly achieved film quality effects on the small screen. Weather it’s Yoda’s visit to the erie planet of Moraband, or the incredible “Evil Yoda” sequence, you see a dedication to cinematic storytelling unlike anything before.

  2. The exclusive “Clone Wars Declassified” documentary that comes with the set is incredibly insightful. It gives an inside look into the final chapter of the creative process for the Clone Wars team. “Clone Wars Declassified” give us a glimpse of just how tight-knit the team at Lucasfilm was as well as how involved George Lucas was in the creative process. It becomes obvious just how much Lucas passed on to Filoni as a filmaker.

I give The Lost Missions 5/5 glasses of blue milk! More info after the jump!

-Riley

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