This is the May: The 501st Legion on Star Wars Day
Star Wars is a cultural juggernaut that has occupied a colossal part of pop culture consciousness for forty-six years now. The entire month of May holds many dates relevant to the Star Wars fandom:
- May the Fourth
- There’s Always a Bigger Fifth
- Revenge of the Sixth
- I am the Seventh
- I Find Your Lack of Eighth Disturbing
- A Nine Addition to my Collection
- It’s Treason, Ten
Puns aside, the 14th is creator George Lucas’ birthday. The 16th is Attack of the Clones’ anniversary. The 19th, for both The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith. Empire Strikes Back debuted on the 21st. The 25th is the date it all began, with the original film debuting in 1977, sharing its anniversary with Return of the Jedi, which will be celebrating 40 years this 2023. This is the May.
From subreddit memes to merchandise, books to videogames, quotes to references, and even an expanded – and indeed expanding – universe, it’s fair to say few franchises have found as much cross-generational appeal. It’s a surreal to say that we took our kids to watch a Star Wars movie, like our fathers before us.
The 501st Legion is the world’s largest organisation of fans. They dress up as villainous characters from the franchise for charity, and have been formally recognised as both Disney and Lucasfilm’s preferred costuming organisation, having appeared in canon as the battalion accompanying Darth Vader on the Siege of the Jedi Temple (as seen in Episode III) and as extras in both The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Andy Price, callsign TK-42542, is the Commanding Officer for the 501st Legion’s Southern Cross Garrison, stationed New South Wales and the ACT. He joined Jono on Drive to chat about how the 501st community means so much to Lucasfilm and to fans, both in Australia and around the world.