I thought aside from old commercials, music videos, t.v. shows, and movies featuring PT stars, I’d start featuring fan memories from 1998-2006ish. Maybe Clone Wars-era stuff too. It’s just so we can remember the fun times of seeing the last batch of Star Wars movies: campouts, Midnight Madness runs, Celebrations, trooping events, Star Wars Weekends, etc..
Anyway, here’s my first trip down memory lane from 2003, when I was somehow convinced to put on a costume and go march with some 501st and Dented Helmet members in a local “fall festival” a.k.a. Halloween parade. I wrote this back then for somebody else…I no longer live in Northern Virginia:
Here on the East Coast, Fall is a big deal. So many of the communities in my area mark the season with craft shows, church festivals, and Halloween parades. There’s an annual parade in my town that has been going on for 66 years. The town of Annandale–which is not too far from where I live–has its own parade one weekend before Halloween.
Annandale, VA is a suburb of Washington D.C. that is home to a mix of people. In recent years, Koreans and Latinos have been moving into Annandale, giving it an international flair. But no matter where you come from, everybody loves a parade and free candy.
We were supposed to have participated last year. However, the infamous Beltway Snipers were inflicting their reign of terror on the populace. So last year’s parade was cancelled.
The cops loved the stormtrooper armor. One police officer said, “I’ll trade you.” He added, “They’re probably more afraid of you than they would be of us.”
We stood around in the church parking lot for over an hour. Fellow marchers commented on the costumes and more than a few took pictures with us. Kids especially. They followed the stormies around admiringly. I said that the Empire has just hooked a few more recruits. But I found one youngling, a little padawan in a Jedi costume and a lightsaber. He took a picture with the good guys.
The parade for the most part was typical Americana. Firefighters, high school marching bands, the 4H club people, loads of politicians, bagpipers in kilts, and Shriners in funny little cars all took part. A large group of Koreans marched in traditional costume, which included several guys in very cool Samurai-like armor.
We were positioned between a fleet of antique cars and a local dog club. It was an odd juxtaposition, but at least the dogs were walking behind us instead of in front of us.
Yes it was a lot of fun but the coolest thing about our participation was you could see even on this small level, Star Wars still means something positive to the folks.