Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Fanboys Controversy

Why is it that the media doesn't fact-check anymore? I'm not even going to go into the details about the current controversy surrounding the re-editing of the yet-to-be-released film Fanboys, but you can easily Google the story to play catch up. I'm just venting a little here as I feel that a few inconsiderate Star Wars fans (who claim to be 501st members), chose their words poorly and have now dragged the 501st Legion into this debacle. Blogs and/or entertainment "news" sites are running amok, exploiting the current events with a "geeks gone wild" theme, and naming the 501st as the group "spearheading" the grassroots anti-Weinstein campaign. Would it really kill them to just e-mail the 501st and ask if we, as an organization, are really behind this? Due to the overwhelming number of reports now slandering the Legion's name (and a phone call from NPR), we were forced to post an official statement which can be seen on among other places:

The 501st Legion is not involved as an organization in any protests, boycotts, or movements related to the film Fanboys, nor do we have an opinion or position on the film (which has not yet been released). A few of our more than 4,000 members in 47 countries participated in the project, and accordingly may have their personal opinions about the current issues surrounding the project. But their participation in this film was not coordinated through or sanctioned by the Legion. Our organization is an all-volunteer costuming club that focuses on official Star Wars promotions and charity work. Mounting protests is counter to the Legion's mission and would detract from the time and energy that we currently devote to more meaningful causes. If you would like to learn more about the 501st and what we do, please feel free to contact us.

It's worth mentioning that the "masterminds" behind the Weinstein protests have not revealed themselves at this time, nor proven that they are truly members of the 501st. As for me, I'm anxious to see the film in any form. It's been years since we first heard news that some of our Legion members got a chance to participate in the film. For old time's sake, here's the movie trailer from 2006:

Monday, March 17, 2008

More Commercial Stormtrooper Armor Coming

I posted a while back about the Rubies Supreme Stormtrooper costume that's coming out later this year. Jez from got in touch with Rubies and acquired some better images of the promotional shot for curious fans. I'm still concerned that the material may not be of reliable "trooping quality" and that the "standard" size will mislead buyers into thinking that this is a ready-to-wear costume. Even if the quality is good, the wearer will need to customize and modify their armor to fit their body type unless you happen to be the exact height/weight/shape of the model that this costume was based upon. But enough about Rubies and their "Halloween" costumes...the bigger news is that a high-end collectible company known as Museum Replicas/Windlass Studios has also acquired the license to produce Stormtrooper armor (among other Star Wars costumes). This company seems to lean toward movie replicas that are meant more for display or for the discerning costumer who can afford to pay a higher price for a better product. No photos or price points have been revealed so far, but we are told to expect something at San Diego Comic-Con in late July. I am also arranging for a 501stCast interview with a representative from Museum Replicas to see if we can get answers to all the burning questions---including clarification on a statement that they have been working with the 501st to develop the armor. Meanwhile, here's a link the press release and an initial interview.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Taking a Break from Legion Duties...Or am I?

Each year, the 501st Legion elects its Legion Commanding Officer (LCO)---the equivalent of a President and CEO for this fine volunteer costuming organization. The LCO then appoints his or her second-in-command, the Legion Executive Officer (LXO), as well as a staff of administrative officers which include my previous title of Legion Webmaster (LWM). Sometimes there is carryover from the previous administration, but it is not required by our Legion Charter. This year, 2008, will be a busy one for me personally with the construction of a new farmhouse in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, new job responsibilities, several out-of-state family vacations (including Star Wars Weekends and Dragon*Con), assisting an ailing father-in-law, and more. While I thoroughly enjoy helping fellow costumers with questions and problems they encounter on various 501st websites, the role is a huge time-sucker and requires daily attention to matters both public and private. Really, it has been less like a hobby and more like a job---except there is no pay other than the pure satisfaction of helping others. So, with a reliable replacement identified, I can now feel free to focus on family, job, and personal projects including several more half-completed costumes (AT-ST Driver, Tusken Raider, and my wife's Padme Naboo Pilot), some 501st merchandise projects, and the 501stCast. Hardly sounds like time away from the Legion at all...