I know most of you cannot help me with this conundrum that I’m in. If you have been following my blog for a while, you know of my intense desire to be part of the Rebel Legion. The Rebel Legion is a prestige costume group that occasionally gets hired by Lucasfilm itself to promote events. They mainly work with charity groups and if you hire them for an event, they ask that you donate to a charity of their choice as opposed to paying the RL.
In order to become part of this group, you need to have a costume that has been evaluated and accepted by a judge within the group. This is no mere costume. There are a lot of requirements and it needs to be appropriate enough that if LFL does hire your “base” to be part of a local event in the area, your costume is up to par.
Ever since I saw the 501st (the Imperial counterpart) and RL at an event when I was 16, I wanted to be part of the Rebel Legion. I wanted an Old Republic Jedi Knight costume just like Qui-Gon Jinn had and to be going to events with everyone else. After 10 years of trying to get a costume done (it involved losing my original, driving 2 hours back and forth from Connecticut, and too much money spent), I finally finished it last year and was able to debut it at Boston Comic Con last August.
At Boston Comic Con, I took photos to submit for judgment from the Rebel Legion…
And I never submitted them. After 10 years, I’m not sure if I want to be part of the RL anymore. There are a multitude of reasons, mainly that I don’t want to add one more thing to my to do list (already I work a full-time job, am part of the Big Sister Organization, and am trying to start up my Virtual Assistant business). But on top of that is the fact that I’m not sure I liked the dynamic within the organization too much.
I shouldn’t jump to conclusions, because how can you really know people or organization until you spend adequate amount of time with them? But the people I did meet and talk with were not very receptive, friendly, or helpful during this process. Instead of feeling like I was being welcomed, it often felt like a battle to try to get the costume done and figure out the right people to talk to. I remember saying to myself that when I joined, I wanted to be a liaison to people trying to join so that I could help point them in the right direction and make them feel more welcome. Now I don’t even want to join, and if I did, I don’t know if I’d want to bring the topic up and see if I could pull it off.
These thoughts have also been mulling about in my head ever since I overheard a colleague walking by the kitchen the other week talking about the 501st. I got so excited that I ran after him and we talked about the legions and costuming in general. He is an ex-501st member and his reason for leaving? The internal politics and drama of the costuming groups. Ugh. It was almost as if my internal fears were confirmed.
I wanted to join the RL so badly because I had no outlet for the geeky Star Wars side of me. None of my friends like Star Wars, my family isn’t that obsessed, and I wanted to be able to talk to someone, ANYONE, about Star Wars and not feel out of place.
And then I began to realize…this blog has become that outlet for me. I can write here and converse with other people about Star Wars. It’s the outlet I needed, but never had for these past 10 years (okay, I did have a blog on hyperspace for 2 years but it wasn’t the same). Here, I can write what I want and people actually have a conversation with me about Star Wars! Imagine that. Amazing. 😉 But seriously – I just want to say that you guys are the best! All the people who comment and dialogue with me help me to feel more like myself everyday.
So I still don’t know if I’m going to join the Rebel Legion. I know that as of right now, I won’t because I have too much on my plate. I want to join because I know there are people in the group that I will really connect with if I just took the plunge. But the internal politics and the fact that I now have this blog hold me back some. If I ever need to take my Star Wars love to the next level, I know it’s waiting for me.