Monday, May 19, 2008

Zero-G Troopers

One of the most obscure and overlooked Stormtrooper variants from the original trilogy is the trooper type seen outside the Death Star docking bay as the Millennium Falcon is being pulled in via tractor beam (pictured above). Although some fans refer to this trooper as the "Spacetrooper", the official Star Wars databank already has that particular name reserved for another Expanded Universe character. As such, I'm calling this a Zero-G trooper to avoid confusion and to emphasize the spacewalking nature of these troops.

There are only a few photos known to exist that document this rare piece of trooper equipment, and none show a great degree of detail. We know that the basis of this costume is the Stormtrooper armor with some additions (much like the Sandtrooper is really a Stormtrooper variant). This trooper wears some kind of oxygen-supplying backpack with a hose leading to the front of the helmet, and also wears his gloves untucked and pulled up over the forearm armor (giving the appearance of really long wrists!)

An interesting thread on the RPF (which has been going since 2005) revealed an unproduced Marmit 1/6 scale Zero-G trooper:

Marmit is known for their attention to detail and realism, but what is interesting is that the backpack tanks on the figure appear to be based upon the tanker truck model parts that were kit-bashed as part of the Death Star trench seen here:

This was speculated by RPF members even before the awareness of the Marmit prototype and you can see the same tanks in this screen capture:

TK-8456 of the UK Garrison has made a fantastic effort in reproducing the space pack with little reference to rely upon. A groundbreaking first try:

Meanwhile, the hunt continues as, even 30 years later, new images continue to pop up from the Lucasfilm archives.

TRIVIA: The two Spacetroopers from Episode IV are believed to be Star Wars alumnus Joe Johnston filmed twice and superimposed. However, this production photo seems to suggest otherwise:

Special thanks to everyone on the RPF for helping to source this information.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Joined the Chicken Walker Club

Since my retirement as 501st Legion Webmaster earlier this year, one of my goals was to get back to finishing up some other Star Wars costumes that I've had in various stages of completion. One of them, started in 2004, is the AT-ST Driver from Return of the Jedi. Finally finished this one up this weekend after sourcing a decent jumpsuit with the proper stitching and color (I'm no seamstress!). The helmet comlink (which is composed of the carburator on a classic V8 engine model kit) was another "holy grail" for this particular costume...and now it's becoming more readily available from a number of sources. If you want to know more about this costume, visit the 501st Armored Cavalry Detachment (ACD) message boards by clicking here. I'll add more posts about this particular costume using the "AT-ST Driver" tag so you can view all of the posts at once. Can you believe this is only the second complete costume I own?!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


I just found out that the Master Replicas Collectors Edition (CE) Stormtrooper helmet that I mentioned in a previous post is now available in the U.S. from a shop in California, and at 54% off retail (just $90 US!) it's quite a steal. If I wasn't already in possession of two TE2 buckets, an RT, and an FX, I'd be quick to jump on this one. If you are in search of a more accurate helmet for your FX armor, click here for this great price from Redford Films. (EDIT 1/29/09: Price has gone up to $110 with free shipping) You will also want to make some modifications to fine-tine this helmet. On a related note, they also have MR Clone Trooper helmets (not the Limited Editions) for just $199 US (but they were out of stock at the time of this blog). It may be worth watching this seller to see what other deals pop up in the future. Thanks to TK-5766 for the tip.