April 14, 2019
501st Legion of ‘Star Wars’ Fans Will Appear in ‘The Mandalorian’
Here’s a cool bit of news out of Star Wars Celebration: the 501st Legion, an organization of Star Wars fans dedicated to wearing screen-accurate costumes of Stormtroopers, bounty hunters, and other Star Wars characters, will be appearing in multiple episodes of Jon Favreau‘s upcoming Disney+ series The Mandalorian. It’s the first live-action TV show in the franchise’s history, and a dedicated group of fans was able to participate in some genuine Star Wars history. Read more about it below.
501st in The Mandalorian
The 501st Legion (nicknamed “Vader’s Fist”) was originally devoted to wearing only Stormtrooper suits from the original trilogy, but they’ve since opened their ranks to other types of costumes. Expect to see their armor on display in the show – which is both a cool way to incorporate a dedicated fan community into this fictional world and a slick cash-saving tactic for Disney. Here is what was revealed at the presentation:
Jon Favreau: In the production meeting there were only so many Stormtrooper costumes they had. So we had to plan, has the 501st ever been on camera? I know they’ve been used by Lucasfilm.
Dave Filoni: The thing I know about Star Wars fans is that in all honesty a lot of the costumes you guys made are even better than what we see onscreen. So I had no doubts that they would look great. And they act like Stormtroopers. They know what to do.
Jon Favreau: What’s so funny is how surprised some of them look because they weren’t told what this was for.
Dave: We told them it was some kind of function, like this. And then we realized everything we rolled out in front of them was like a test audience. And so when we rolled it out, we’d be like “Oh they like that.”
Why should the new streaming service spend tons of money building all of those costumes when it can benefit from the devoted fandom who’s already done the work for them? The 501st has never been officially sponsored by Disney or Lucasfilm, but it’s cool to see Favreau recognizing their efforts and rewarding some of its members with what must have been a monumentally cool experience.
First formed back in 1997, the 501st Legion has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and have granted the wishes of Make-A-Wish children around the world. You can learn more about the organization here.
Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:
“After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.”
The series stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi, and some of the episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.
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