Trooper Spotlight #3: Josh Graham

June 7th, 2015
Josh Graham

Legion Number:
TI 8342

Member Since:
July 2011

Primary Costume:
TIE Pilot – ANH

Other Costumes:
TIE – Reserve

Legion/Garrison Offices Held:
Currently, I hold the position of Deputy Garrison Events Coordinator. I also hold the position of Base Merchandise Officer for our sister Base, Terrapin Base.

Favorite Event/Most Memorable Trooping Moment:
Of all the troops I’ve done (22 as a TIE Pilot and Reserve Pilot, and a good dozen or more as a Jedi and Rebel Fleet Trooper), the one that sticks out the most in my mind is a birthday troop that we did for a very special young lady named Morgan.

In January of 2013, Morgan’s house caught fire. Everything inside was destroyed, and the house was a total loss. Even worse, her two sisters Sophie and Madigan both perished in the fire. Since Morgan is an avid Star Wars fan, our Garrison Charity Officer, known to most of the Star Wars Community as Lady Rex, reached out to Morgan’s parents to see if there was anything the Legions could do for Morgan. There was, and word quickly spread of Old Line’s request for cards, patches, anything folks were able to donate. The entire Star Wars community pulled together, and in November 2013, we made our presentation.

A dozen costumed members from the 501st, the Rebel Legion,the Mando Mercs, and the R2 Builders’ Club, and our handlers arrived in secret during Morgan’s birthday party to surprise her. Our two Mando’ade, accompanied by a photographer and Morgan’s Aunt popped into the room where the party was being held, surprising everyone. They announced that they were Bounty Hunters working for the Empire, and that Lord Vader wanted to speak with Morgan! The entire party stepped outside to the parking lot where the rest of us waited. I will admit, every single one of us with helmets had trouble with fogging that day, as none of us could keep our eyes dry. Literally thousands of troopers were in attendance in spirit when we presented the community’s gifts to Morgan. I believe there were two thirty gallon tote bins full of cards, patches, trading cards, and other gifts for Morgan. Seeing her face light up when we told her that this was all for her, and all from Star Wars fans around the world is about the best feeling I’ve ever experienced. That look of sheer delight made every single penny I’ve spent, every drop of sweat, every moment of frustration, and every cut and scrape and burn that I’ve put into this hobby worth it. It reminded me of why we do what we do, and why I’m truly honoured to be a part of such a wonderful, caring community. That event showed me what it truly means to be a Trooper of the Legion. I will admit, I still tear up today just thinking about how humbling that event was, and how inspiring one brave young lady can be.

First Contact with the 501st Legion:
My first contact with the 501st Legion was actually with Old Line Garrison at the Star Wars In Concert event at the Verizon Center. I vaguely knew that the 501st existed prior to that, but at the time I wasn’t really interested in being one of “the bad guys”, so I hadn’t done any research on the group. Once I saw the members of Old Line, something clicked with me, and I signed up for the forums that night. Ironically enough, I happened to sign up at exactly 5:13 in the evening. Kind of funny, given my forum handle. I’m pretty sure I ended up pestering Rob about his IN costume, since I found it cool at the time. Still do find the IN pretty epic, but I haven’t made any progress on building mine. Yet.

Reason for Joining the 501st Legion:
Honestly, there really wasn’t any “one” thing that sparked my interest in joining the 501st. It might have been because I was bored at the time and the Legion was Something To Do. It could have been the subtle prompting of the Force. It could have been something else. Whatever it was, I’m glad I did join, as I’ve made some very good friends along the way, and I couldn’t imagine not hanging out with them on the weekends while dressed as a plastic space man.

Favorite Star Wars________:

I think my favourite series of Star Wars books is actually a tie between the Rogue Squadron novels and the Republic Commando books. The thing I like about the Rogue Squadron books – other than the fact they’re pilots, pilots are cool – is that the standard formula of “Force-using hero comes to save the day again” is cast out, and instead it’s the regular folks who are the heroes. That’s something I can identify with.

With the Republic Commando books, I like the fact that the author humanizes the Clones. Too many others treat them as anonymous canon fodder, or give them these one-sided personalities that turn them into “wet droids”, as Kal’buir says. I also like the fact that Traviss paints the main Jedi characters as normal people with a different skill set that are stuck in a bad situation, attempting to make the most of it. Again, that’s something I can relate to. I can’t really relate to Anakin “Super Jedi” Skywalker

Favorite Star Wars Character:

my favorute SW character is is probably Thrawn, if for no other reason than he’s a full-on bad boy.

Other Hobbies:
My other hobbies outside of the 501st aren’t as awesome, to tell the truth. I dabble in both CG art and writing, mostly out of boredom. I’m also an avid PC gamer – mostly FPS games. I also play airsoft, surprisingly. It’s addictingly fun, if slightly expensive.


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