501st Legion – Austrian Garrison

Boba Fett - Dan Taylor Photography

The 501st Legion – Austrian Garrison made a public appearance this past weekend at the Wiener Prater.

I quickly found myself surrounded by quite a few stormtroopers, but not a single matching pair. There was only one “normal” stormtrooper to be found, but plenty of variants. Some with the orange flap over the shoulder, others with the full face/neck helmet combo. I’m not sure whether I should be ashamed or proud that I can’t tell you the difference between the two, having seen Star Wars well over 50 times.

Oddly enough, I only spotted two Darth Vaders. One was a bit on the short side, and should probably stick to Luke, but the other was quite an imposing figure at around 2 meters tall, and a quite convincing costume. Admittedly, I would have been overjoyed had this Darth Vader actually had a mechanical breathing sound, but alas, the weather was threatening all day, so perhaps the electronics stayed at home. Which raises another point – did we ever see Darth Vader in the rain?

The 501st Legion is an international collection of geeks Star Wars costume enthusiasts, that not only enjoy donning the robes of their fantasy character(s), but sharing and spreading the love of all things Star Wars.

From Article 1 of the 501st Legion Charter:

“…The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work…”

All in all, it was a cool event, particularly for photographers and families. I wasn’t the only photog on the street, as I spotted Nikon D4 in action with a 24-70mm attached. Can you say dream rig?

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