History of the Rebel Legion

So what is the history of the Rebel Legion? Where did we come from and how long have we been around?

Much like the fictional Rebel Alliance, the Rebel Legion was formed as a response to the growth of the The Fighting 501st Legion, originally in the USA. For years the 501st had grown and their presence was felt at nearly every science-fiction and fantasy convention in the world. Stormtroopers, Sith Lords, Bounty Hunters, and Imperial Officers were all united in their love of Imperial costuming.

But… what about the countless Jedi Knights, Rebel Pilots, Queen Amidalas, Han Solos and Wookiee-wannabes? They had no costuming group to call their own. So a few brave souls banded together, and much like the Rebellion, they formed their own group. The leader of this new movement was a man named Tony Troxell, a Rebel Pilot.

The Rebel Legion first appeared in mid-1999 and in the years since its formation, the group has grown from a few dozen Rebel costumers that talked to each other on the internet, to becoming the premier Rebel costuming group in the Star Wars community. Our membership is constantly increasing, and we have established our own presence in the galaxy. In December 2005, we reached over 1000 members worldwide and are still growing daily with Bases and Outposts in places such as Mexico, Japan and Sweden. Our largest groupings at the moment are in the USA. In 2010 we reached over 2000 members.

As the preferred ‘good guy’ costuming group of Lucasfilm, the Rebel Legion attend many of their events as well as other conventions, exhibitions and events across the world where they are always keen on using the opportunity to raise money for their nominated charities.

The Rebel Legion is headed up by an international ‘Council’, made up of members who are responsible for looking after and developing specific areas of the club.

In 2002 a UK Outpost was established amongst a small group of Jedi and pilots. The Outpost grew steadily until its membership became an official Base in 2006. In 2006, in keeping with the tradition of Star Wars having a key place in its heart for the UK and by a poll on our UK forum, it was decided to name our home ‘Elstree Base’, a fitting tribute to a film industry legend. Star Wars – Episode IV – A New Hope, was shot at Elstree Studios during 1976. George Lucas was so impressed with the facilities that he returned to shoot the sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi. The majority of filming for the prequels was done in Sydney but the final scenes of Revenge of the Sith were shot at studio 8 at Elstree Film & Television Studios. Rick McCallum, producer of Revenge of the Sith told the Borehamwood and Elstree Times: “We could have shot anywhere in the world, but Elstree’s our home, even when we’re not shooting here, we have a production office there.”

Elstree Base aims to continue an organic growth towards the future, through its continued involvement at local and community levels, as well as national and international exhibitions and conventions. This is recognised by its presence in the sci-fi and charity fundraising community and the groups that it works alongside. Over the years, the club helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for a variety of registered charities. We currently have over 60 members in the UK representing costumes ranging from Wookiees to Clonetroopers and Jedi.

Please feel free to contact us by emailing contact@rebellegion.co.uk to find out more about how you could help make a difference and play a part in it by joining us.

“Never underestimate the power of The Force!”