Cosplay: The Mandalorian & The 501st Legion
Remember that time the 501st rescued the Mandalorian? Yeah…good, warmer times.
When you run out of excellent Storm Trooper costumes, who you gonna call? We’re midway through the most recent season of Disney’s The Mandalorian, let’s take a look behind the scenes at some of the most impressive costumes used in the latest Star Wars franchise!
The 501st Legion has long been the highest standard of commitment to authenticity in the Star Wars fandom. The intricate and photo-real creations from the Legion’s members (and from those of their partner group, the Rebel Legion) have wowed fans all over the world, and none more than the producers of Disney’s The Mandalorian. When the folks making the show are short on money and time for costumes, who do they turn to? The 501st Legion.
The 501st Mission
From their website, the Mission Statement of the 501st Legion is this:
“…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…”
The Legion was founded by Albin Johnson. The name itself was an iterative process, being a draw on the military alliterative names like SeaBees and from inspiration of groups like the Roman Legion. ” I liked the idea of the old Roman Legion. It was very old word, sounded very distinguished, and even though it did have a fixed number it wasn’t readily obvious in the contemporary context. When I re-watched ROTJ and noticed that Palpatine mentioned two of his “finest Legions” were on Endor, I knew we had something that had roots in the Star Wars universe. Problem solved!”-Albin Johnson.
During the first season of The Mandalorian, many theories were being put to the test. This show was a departure from the current (and somewhat dubiously successful) modern Force Awakens trilogy. Fans of the original trilogy and the books have long expressed frustration at the direction of the Star Wars Cinematic Universe, and for the first time it seemed the story was placed in the hands of the fans who adored it.
So fun fact: for episodes 7-8 of #TheMandalorian, they didn’t have enough costumes for all of the Storm Troopers needed in a scene. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni enlisted the help of a local 501st Legion chapter, comprised of fans with their own costumes, to fill in those spots pic.twitter.com/9BgBWx6hgb
— Not Josh (@TweetinJoshBe) December 28, 2019
Since the show was new and untested, the budget was naturally smaller. Due to the scope of some of the scenes, there was a need for more costumes than the budget could require. Jon Favreau and his team made the decision to pull from the best source possible to fill the gaps- the 501st Legion. “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.” –Dave Filoni
~Join us next week for more Cosplay Coverage~
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