Monday, July 15, 2013

The 501st Singapore Garrison Invades Pathlight Headquarters.

By Kat Kiele

The 501st Legion’s Singapore Garrison is in action, at Pathlight School.  This is the first autism-focused school in Singapore, teaching mainstream academic content and life-readiness skills to children from 7 to 18. The 501st Legion has been known for their charity efforts all around the world, along with being children-friendly. Today at Pathlight School, the 501st Legion’s Singapore Garrison was there in force, with 6 troopers and a smaller number of handlers. They posed with kids, teens, and adults alike, placing smiles on everyone's faces.
During my time there, I was able to chat with Dominic Zou, TR 7248, who is the CO (Commanding Officer) of the Singapore Garrison. He explains, "The 501st has always been here to place smiles on children's faces. This outing isn't our usual type of event, but one of those easier ones because we are just walking around and taking pictures. We also don't have as many handlers (who are people who watch out for the men and women in costume) as costumed troopers. We usually have one handler for every two costumed troopers. It is a security reason along with making sure that each trooper is hydrated and safe."
We have many reasons to recognize this amazing costuming group. Not only for their dedication for charity, but also for bringing smiles to children with facing illnesses or other challenges, or even just regular kids who love to see real-life Stormtroopers, clone troopers, or even bounty hunters. To many children, this could be a dream come true. Many of us Star Wars fans live in a world, where lightsabers are real, Han Solo shot first, and the Stormtroopers are the villains in the galaxy. In reality, the 501st aren't the villains, but the heroes from a dream, coming alive.
One of the 501st banners, featuring a Stormtrooper, member TK-9061, says, "I have defended Imperial Battle stations, occupied hostile systems, and learned the meaning of hope from a child with cancer."
That was one of many publicity items from the 501st Legion, which is one of the worldwide costuming organizations here to bring smiles upon children's faces.

According to Alfred Lim (Jango Fett), BH-7535, from the Singapore Garrison, "[The] Singapore Garrison is a part [of] the worldwide 501st Legion movement. It is a place where Star Wars fans can dress up as their favourite character (screen accurate) and appear for charity or community events. So we all gather for the love of Star Wars, charity, and bringing smiles to people around us."
BH-7535 is one of the costumers there at the invasion of Pathlight School.

Not only were the 501st at this event at Pathlight School, so were a few other costumers playing characters from unrelated universes. One character which I believe everyone will recognize is Thor. Come on... Thor just has to lighten up... just a bit... does everyone agree?


There were also some other exciting events, such as a Transformer (Optimus Prime) arresting a Stormtrooper, TK-8315. The caption: "Trooper, you are under arrest for consorting with the Decepticons. We are taking you back to the Headquarters, where you will be questioned about your loyalty. If you prove that you are really a Decepticon Spy, you will be sent back to the Emperor to face punishment."

According to Dominic Zou, TR-2748, "like most Singaporeans, our members have diverse backgrounds and motivations, but we all have enough love for Star Wars to put our time and effort in helping out charities -- while drenched in sweat, costuming as plastic spacemen."

Costuming is not all fun and games. Being a part of the 501st is also about helping kids feel comfortable in the environment. This is a picture of a trooper, trying to shake the hand of a terrified kid who kept running away.  They eventually got the better of him by doffing their helmets to show real human faces.

To conclude, the 501st has been there for many events. They are able to connect with the adolescents, act as bodyguards to celebrities, and make a child's wish come true.

Its a confirmed head shot, sir.


hands up trooper

If you wish to find out more information about the 501st , check out their website at 501st

For more pictures, check out: Jeditography


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