I was about 10 years old. I remember watching the original trilogy movies on TV with my parents and then seeing the 1997 rereleases with dad in the theaters. Been hooked ever since.
The dream of every fan is to actually be in Star Wars. How did you get cast for The Mandalorian?
I’m a member of the 501st Legion and there’s a good relationship between us and Lucasfilm. Every so often when they need to put a call out for more Stormtroopers they send out a casting call to the local Garrison. I applied for it and was one of the lucky few that got picked.
How did the shooting of your scenes go?
They went very well! The crew was amazing, I’ve been on other shoots with Star Wars themes before but these guys went above and beyond. You could tell they were all Star Wars fans.
Our part of the shoot went for 3 days, about 14 hours each in armor the whole time. Sun up to sundown. Everything was still kept a big secret, even when we were on set. We had no idea what we were getting into until the cameras started rolling. It was a lot of fun and was awesome to see it all come together.
Did any weird or funny things happen on or off the set?
With everything tightly under wraps; for them to get us to the outside set, we had to be bused over on public streets so they had to cover us up. We all had to wear robes or ponchos over the armor.
Everyday about mid-afternoon there was a freight train that would go by, it was loud, long and one day it just stopped right behind us. We had to hold filming for about 10 minutes for it to move out.
It was also fun for me to look back at the crew while they watched us enjoying and freaking out about what was going on. Like Dave said at The Mandalorian panel at Celebration IX in Chicago, “Oh, well they liked that!”. I believe he was referring to when they rolled out a bust if IG-11 and we all got huge smiles.
Did you get to interact with some of the principal actors or crew?
Some of the stunt men, they were more interested in what we did as the 501st. Because we brought our own armor and blasters they had lots of questions.
What is the best memory you have regarding The Mandalorian?
That first step on set!
Walking on a planet from a galaxy far far away. I’m a big fan of Mandalorians, Mandalore and Fett anyway so just the whole experience was amazing.
Any chance we’ll see you again in season 2?
To quote my favorite Jedi Obi-Wan… “Possibly” You’ll have to wait until the fall of 2020 to find out.
Your Stormtrooper outfit is now officially a screen used prop. Ever thought of that? It’s worth a lot more now.
It’s been “screen used” before on other projects. I’ve never really thought about the value of it being more or less now. 🤣 It has more sentimental value to me because it’s my first kit. I’ve worn it since 2007 and I don’t see myself retiring it any time soon.
You’re a member of the 501st. Besides the Stormtrooper are there other uniforms you have? And is there one you don’t have but is on your wish list?
I’ve been in the clubs since 2008, I’m TK-2384 of Southern California Garrison and in that time the other suits I’ve completed are Boba Fett, Clone Trooper and First Order Stormtrooper. I’m also a member of the 501st sister club the Rebel Legion; Sunrider Base. With that club I have the Clone, Leia (the white dress that I wear as A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back) and a Jedi that is themed from Knights Of The Old Republic. In the closet, still needing some love are a Biker Scout and a few others.
My bucket list one right now would be a Din Djarin. I’ve loved seeing all the different variations of his armor from the first season and I think I’m in trouble with wanting to get all of them. I have a bad feeling about this.
What is in your opinion the best thing about being a 501st member?
Getting to go to a lot of different charity events that we do throughout the year and putting smiles on little and big kids faces. We even do some of the fundraising on our own to help out local charities and animal shelters. We’re very spoiled out here in Southern California Garrison, we average about 600 events a year!
You run a radio show called Docking Bay 94. What kind of show is it and why should everyone listen?
Docking Bay 94 is a weekly podcast of good friends hanging out for 2 hours having geek-centric discussions. We started the show about 7 and a half years ago, mostly talking about Star Wars (surprise surprise), other fun geeky topics and theme parks!
We also added in an element to our show of a second screen on our Facebook page (that I’ve been running) so our listeners can interact with us while we’re on the air and we just recently got on Twitch!
If anyone would like to join the party here’s our info: