Stormtrooper boot camp

 Yes, more pictures of stormtroopers marching around.

Saturday was our very first rehearse-with-the-band-day. If you’ve ever seen the movie Drumline (I haven’t but I’m planning on renting it!), the band in there is the Grambling State University band. They’re hella GOOD and they’re the band Lucas picked to play Star Wars music for the parade.


In an effort to not look utterly retarded next to the veteran GSU marching band, everyone got up an hour earlier to get in some extra practice time. We found whatever empty space we could around the hotel and practiced.


Then it was off to our favorite football field to practice going around and around the field with the band playing. First time through, they actually had us try to march to the beat the band was playing at but the band had a tendancy to switch tempos and music a lot. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty sight. =D After that, they gave all the drill leaders whistles to keep a separate cadence for us.


I had dinner that night with my brother and aunt and then went back to the hotel really motion sick from driving all over LA. That isn’t so exciting but check out those yukatas (I think that what they’re called?) the Japanese garrison has. Aren’t they awesome?! I want one too!


The 501st in its favorite past time other than costuming: hanging out at the bar and drinking. Those dudes with all the tattoos and cowboy hats… are from Italy. Yeah… Italy.

Sunday was dress rehearsal day! Everyone had to get up even earlier to suit up and pile onto buses. For all the previous days, LFL had chartered 5 buses to drive us around. But because most stormtroopers can’t sit, we had 9 buses on dress rehearsal and parade day. It was pretty funny watching all the buses pull away with troopers standing up in all the aisles. =D


Mr. Lucas himself came out to inspect the troops and take pictures with all of us which was really cool of him. He seemed pretty happy with how we looked which was probably just as well as it was kinda too late to be changing anything at this point. =D


Then it was more marching practice.


What troopers do during their lunch break. =D Biker scouts vs. sandtroopers and I believe the sandtroopers won.


All the Golden Gate Garrison members who marched. We had a lot of people there!


More moments of silliness.


And that was the last we saw of that field! Most people turned in really early that night because of the frakkin 5am-on-the-bus-thing. I heard some people just stayed up all night instead. I opted for bed.


My room was up and dressing into armor at 4am. We decided to skip breakfast because there was no way we could go to the bathroom once we were in costume. I ate part of a powerbar and tried not to drink too much. ^^;

Don’t we look pretty damn happy for 5am? Gah.


It took a long time to get to the parade site because of all the traffic. I discovered that I can actually sit in my armor! Bonus!

It was freaking cold when we got off the buses. Of course, by the time we finished the parade, we were all melting from the afternoon heat…


The parade was 5.5 miles. We were under the impression that it would be a fairly slow pace. Ah… wrong. We all but jogged the whole thing. Turns out that when the band stopped to play every once in a while, the float in front kept going so when we started moving again, we had to haul ass to close the gap. That part kinda sucked.


The crowd reaction was awesome though! I wish I could have seen more but I was too busy trying to stay in formation, and by mile 3, I was just too busy whining to myself about how much everything hurt. LOL.

I finished the whole parade! We only had 14 troopers drop out and most of them were because of costume malfunctions. Helmets fogging up were a real problem that day. I am SO proud of us ’cause it was no walk in the park.


After getting back to the hotel, lots of people hung out in the lobby and watched the coverage. It was cool because they re-played the parade coverage so we got to see ourselves. It was also a good way to kill time because we could only fit 6-7 troopers per elevator so it took a while for everyone to get upstairs.


I hopped in the hottub for a bit and hung out. And of course some of the guys had to get more doofy photos. I was just waiting for someone to electrocute themselves on the hardware in their helmets. =D


The UKG garrison being typically doofy. I loved them! They were so awesome (despite their unhealthy obsession with twinkies). I actually went shopping for twinkies yesterday to send to them. I swear that stuff’ll kill you…


Rest of the night was spent drinking and hanging out. I drank a LOT. @_@ It’s been a while since I had that much but you can’t exactly say no when other people are buying right? ^^;


And so ends the Star Wars Spectacular for the Rose Parade of 2007. I had so much fun and I’d do it again in a heart beat! (Well, after my blisters heal…) ^___^