Monday, October 10, 2011

Wanna take a field trip? Let's go Star Wars "trooping"

If you are on the Facebook and "friends" with either of my children, you are no doubt wondering how they have been infected to the millionth degree with "Star Wars-itis."

I think I will blame one Tom Allison.  He is living somewhere beyond so he is not here to object. 

Several years ago BC (before cancer), he had a list he spoke about of things he wanted to do in his life.  Before they were called "bucket lists" and trendy.

On Tom's list:  Attend a Star Wars Convention.

My favorite shot of the whole time
(the boy as Darth)

Mr. Fun said he would go (of course, he is fun as the name implies).  The Boy wanted to go.  I decided "why not?"  so I got on board.  Ironically, The Girl, was NOT a fan of the idea but with all of us going, she lost her vote.

We drove to Indianopolis  in 2005 and spent four days there.  It was surreal.  And super evidenced by the bottom of our pants.

who doesn't want to be their own action figure?
The Boy got on Japanese TV with this little outfit.
I think he was one of the youngest people there of the 40,000

 who knew the Girl would be trooping in this same costume 6 years later?
That red suit is the Red Royal Guard...
guardian of the emperor...who is an evil sith lord

Don't I look good as a star wars figure?  :)
Smoking hot

For me, it wasn't good or bad.  Just strange. 

Notice the pose of the Boy? 
See it again down below

But for Tom and the kids, it spoke to them.  The Girl went back again to Florida last year with Tom's family to do it again.  The Boy ached with jealousy.

Both the Boy and Girl have pulled together authentic costumes and are now what I call "Star Wars Re-enactors." 

When the people go out in the their costumes and show up at events, it is called "trooping."

So, I was invited to an event to go trooping with the kids and take pictures the other night down in the art district. 

It was so fun.  No....really.

                   The Boy as a Jedi (good guy)                          
                                                                                                     The Girl getting her good smell on so
                                                                                                she doesn't stink in her handmade, custom
                                                                                                 costume.  She has padding around her neck
                                                                                                to bulk her up and look more "guardianly"

The Boy and Girl

So, what happens is the group is contacted by some kind of organization.  Boy Scouts, Down Syndrome Guild, the Zoo...etc...any non-profit group. 

Local chapter volunteers who have approved costumes then show up to the event.  They need a room to change in (they are all dressed modestly when changing so they can change in the same room).  They bring everything they need and use.  They then what I would call "work" the event.  For free.

They seemingly stay in the same area as a group.  They travel together from site to site on the location (like the art district, they walked from street to street together).  And it is NOTHING for them to have their photographs taken HUNDREDS of times in a single event.

It was fun for me in two ways:

1:  To see my shy children come out of their shells in such a big way
2.  And to watch the faces of unexpecting people as they wonder by.


It was strange...most little girls seem to put
their hands up by their face....

these little girls were making
origami cranes with their grandmothers at the
Buddist temple we wandered into....yep,
they tried to convert me with their
free potato chips and soda

The cops pulled over in their car
and took tons of pictures of each other

we wandered by a art space that had a rave
with a DJ going on...
this guy was in can see it.
How many guys can say they busted a move
with Princess Leia and an Imperial officer?

I didn't know they had kilts in space

see the Boy?  Just like when he was 6

I cannot put into words HOW many
pictures people take of the characters!

I am having a hard time thinking of a time
when I have seen so many people cheer, smile and
just plain be happy by seeing something
randomly on the street...
I love the look on my boy's face

This is Darrel.  He is an official Lucas Film artist.
He travels with the troopers and draws people for the events.
Sometimes he does these large pieces for the non-profit to
auction off or raffle away to raise money.

This is a drawing of Boba Fett, Tom Allison's most favorite guy of all.

After trooping on the street, when we returned to the art space,
and Darrel almost was finished painting it. 

When the Boy saw it, he cried. 

For an hour.

He said he could feel Tom near, and he could not stop
looking at the piece.

Like any good mother, I bought it,
right then and there. 

Darrel let both The Girl and Boy paint on the helmet
so they had part of their soul in the piece.

It now hangs in the hallway outside of their bedrooms,
directly outside of the Boy's bedroom.
It is the first thing he sees when he leaves his room.
He LOVES it. 

He said he feels powerful, like he can do anything.
And he feels close to his best friend to the 11th power,
Star Wars mentor, Tom.  :)

I love this one...
like his official trooping picture

This is like her official picture

Bless his heart, the imperial officer who took this didn't have
what you might say "photo skills." 
Stick to your day job, officer guy....
blasting good guys throughout the galaxy.  :)