Clothes make the fans in this ‘Star Wars’ costuming group
In what seems like a galaxy far, far away, Brian Clausse spends his days as a civil servant with the California Department of Health Services. But the 40 year old Carmichael resident feels most at home in an imposing Darth Vader costume that took six months and about $4,000 to create. He’s the “commanding officer” for the 501st Legion’s Central California Garrison, a “Star Wars” costuming group with 105 members spanning from the Oregon border all the way south to Fresno. They’re a familiar force at local charity events, “Star Wars” theme nights, sporting events and comic conventions.
The group’s parent organization, the 501st Legion, started not in outer space but cyberspace. Its original home base was a Geocities Web page where “Star Wars” fans could post pictures of their finest stormtrooper armor and homemade costumes. The site ultimately spawned a series of regional chapters around the world dedicated to “Star Wars” costuming, and today boasts more than 10,000 members around planet Earth. The Central California Garrison, which serves regional “Star Wars” fans, was founded in 2001.