501st Legion

Join the Dark Side: We’ll Silence Your Bullies

August 27, 2015

A Star Wars fan club named itself after a coalition of bad guys aligned with Darth Vader. But they’re bringing some real goodness to the world.

In 2010, a suburban Chicago 7-year-old named Katie Goldman proudly took a Star Wars water bottle to school until she abruptly asked her mother for a pink one instead. Why the sudden switch? The boys at school told her that Star Wars was only for boys. Her mother, Carrie, wrote about the situation on her blog—Katie is adopted, and the blog is about parenting adopted children. The post went viral, and before long, other Star Wars fans told Katie not to back down. A toy company sent her a lightsaber; one of the voices from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV show called her; and LucasFilm, the makers of Star Wars, sent her a bunch of Star Wars stuff…which Katie shared with her bullies. Best of all, a Star Wars fan club called the 501st Legion, which specializes in wearing Star Wars costumes from the Empire side—Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, etc.,  sent Katie a pint-sized stormtrooper outfit.

In 2014, Katie got an email from the 501st Legion. They told her another girl was being bullied for liking Star Wars. Katie had outgrown the Stormtrooper costume, so it was sent along to the next recipient, Allison.

Earlier this month, a Virginia elementary school-age girl named Layla wore her R2-D2 jacket to school. She’s a big fan of Star Wars, and wanted to show her pride. But the boys at her school told her that she couldn’t and shouldn’t like Star Wars, because it was for boys only. She became the latest recipient of the Stormtrooper costume, courtesy of the 501st Legion.