We have all heard that famous line given by Princess Leia, and it has become a go to insult for all of us short guys out there wearing armor at conventions. So why in the hell would I want to be a stormtrooper?
An odd situation when your other costume is over 8 foot tall, why would you want to dress in armor that is made for someone that is 6-8 inches taller than you? Well it comes down to honor and pride. Yes I have made the first steps into becoming a Stormtrooper, or a TK as we know it in the 501st. I have officially started on my second 501st costume. Last week I put a downpayment on a set of AP armor and purchased the shoes. The week before I worked on modding a Hasbro E-11 blaster to look like the real thing.
Forgive me if I am a bit of a broken record but with the anouncement of the purchase I will give my reason why again. In the 6 months of trooping with the Wampa, I have seen a lot of wear and tear and for a costume that big and that memorable for so many people I want to now reserve it for the most important events. By doing so I would either have to limit myself to only a few troops a year or conventions or I could make a second costume.
While trooping I have met some great friends out there and I have asked many questions like the obvious what should i do next. Sure I had my concerns about my height and other costumes could have fit my size better but the one thing I have got the most was do what is important to you.
I wavered between Emperor Palpatine and various armor sets like an AT-AT Pilot, a TIE Pilot, Animated Clones even the badass Shadow Scout but everything kept pointing back to the classic Stormtrooper.
It was a series of events that led me to this, first of all the history of the 501st begins with their founder Albin Johnson and his Stormtrooper, this was the go to costume from the beginning of the organization over 10 years ago. Second came from reading the boards when I first joined, there was a chance to be on stage with "Weird Al" Yankovic during his songs Yoda and the Saga Begins. This was an amazing opportunity that I had to pass because they wanted TKs and the Wampa is just too big.
Third was meeting our buddy HYPER at Celebration V. His only set of armor is a TK but he customizes it and makes it his own, with his Beach Trooper and his Luchador Trooper. He ended up on stage introducing George Lucas for the Main Event.
Next came the announcement of the Disney Holiday Parade, they wanted only clean TKs, and if we want to do Disney Star Wars Weekends you need a non-EU costume that can march in a parade and although the Wampa is from Empire, it is not very friendly to marching in parades... are you seeing the pattern here?
Fritz in his TK armor
But the moment of truth came from trooping with Fritz, a fellow short guy like myself who was trooping in the Pinellas Park holiday parade as a TK. When seeing him in armor, I knew that I had no more excuses. I had to do a TK. So here I am about to be another guy mocked for being too short to be a Stormtrooper, but will love every second of it. I will post progress pics up as soon as I get my armor in!