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Happy 10th Birthday Malaysia Outpost!

posted Jan 23, 2016, 1:55 AM by Kevin Wu
501st Malaysia Outpost 10th Anniversary Patch
501st Legion Malaysia Outpost 10th Anniversary Patch

It has been a long time coming but we have finally reached our 10th Year Anniversary. Through plenty of sweat, tears and effort from our members new and old. The 501st Legion Malaysia Outpost has definitely been through plenty of ups and downs to reach its 10th Birthday!

From humble beginnings, when the fans of science fiction and fantasy gathered in a local forum and labeled themselves MySciFiFan, The Malaysia Science Fiction and Fantasy Group. From there the movement for a costumed group, known as the Costume Contingent arose, but it was not long that members of the Contingent strive for more accuracy in their costumes.
MySciFiFan Costume Contingent and fellow Star Wars Fans pose for the Revenge of the Sith fan screening in 2009

With its formation approved on the 23rd of January 2006, the 501st Legion Malaysia-Brunei Outpost, as it was known then was formed as a union between the fans of 2 nations. The Malaysian side were led by TS-2870, Peter Lai as the First Commanding Officer of the Outpost while the Brunei side were led by its Executive Officer, TK-8829, Russell Knox.

DZ-2870, SL-2320 and TR-5666 at the first 501st Legion Malaysia-Brunei Outpost Troop

The first ever troop that the 501st Malaysia-Brunei Outpost did was during a Halloween Party at the Outpost in Cineleisure Damansara (E@Curve) Attended by the then members, DZ-2870, SL-2320, TR-5666 and a special guest from Singapore TS-9930. The halloween party would mark the beginning of many troops and the start of movie accurate Star Wars costumes making their appearances throughout Malaysia.

Initially, our appearances were few and far in between, appearing in events such as Movie
Carnival with the sole purpose of promoting Star Wars as well as gather funds for charity at the side in a few events. Though there were a few notable appearances, especially in 2007 (Our second year of operation) when our members were present in 2 very iconic troops. With TK-8829 (pictured on the right) representing the 501st Malaysia-Brunei along with hundreds of other 501st members at the 118th Tournament of the Rose Parade, led by George Lucas himself as Grand Marshal.

However, later in the year 2007, 2 more of our members, TS-2870 and TK-8598 (pictured on the left) would join a few other Asian 501st Garrison and Outposts in Taiwan for the 30th Star Wars Anniversary Joint Asian Trooping. These 2 events mark the Malaysia-Brunei Outpost's first foray into the overall 501st international community, helping the Outpost establish its mark in the world alongside its like minded brothers and sisters.

Our members also took part in the Heart of the Empire, a touching documentary by Jay Thompson about how the 501st Legion was founded with special emphasis on its founder, Albin Johnson and the trials and tribulations that he has gone through in his life. The documentary also highlights the stories and lives of people and children that the 501st Legion has helped to touch and inspire throughout its lifetime. This picture (below) was part of the end credits of the documentary, signifying our involvement in such an exceptional group. The Heart of the Empire and Star Warriors, a documentary about the 501st Legion's involvement in the Rose Parade, continue to stand as one of our primary source of inspiration to this very day, that we gladly share with everyone!

Though it wasn't until 2010 when the group truly become more active and began to focus more on Charitable events and troops.
With the mindset of having fun while doing charity, the 501st Legion Malaysia-Brunei began actively engaging charity organizations and children homes such as Rumah Juara to give precedence to the motto, Bad Guys Doing Good. Using methods such as having the public to donate and commemorate their selfless deed by having their picture taken with the Star Wars characters and then printed for them to keep. As well as getting the public involved with our characters with games such as Droid Hunts and Blast-a-Trooper allows us to properly raise funds for charity and still give a memorable experience to the supporting public. The Outpost will also make visits to children's wards in hospitals and children homes to cheer up the kids such as in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (pictured right), Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh and the Ronald McDonald Children Home in HUKM.

Then in 2013, the Malaysia-Brunei Outpost was formally separated into Malaysia Outpost and Brunei Outpost, with members from either country finally having a big enough group to warrant 2 different entities! With this the presence of Star Wars continues to grow in both countries as their respective Outposts. Though we were not the only ones around in Asia, for the other outposts and garrisons have grown and with it being a lot easier to keep in contact, the Asian 501st groups are now a lot closer than before. This is no more apparent when 501st Malaysia Outpost played hosts to the Legoland Malaysia Star Wars Weekend in August 2013. Troopers from Singapore Garrison, Thailand Outpost, Indonesia Outpost, Philippine Outpost and China Garrison came together to troop with the Malaysia Outpost for a 2 day weekend, when the Lego Deathstar Miniland was present in Legoland Malaysia

Over the years, the Outpost would see new members as we slowly but surely increase to 24 members with 1 member shy of finally achieving Garrison status! We would also meet with many new friends, minders, event organizers and charity organizations from across Malaysia! From KL to Penang and all the way to Borneo, we would troop for Make-A-Wish, Hope International, Soroptimist International, UNICEF, Mercy Malaysia, Society for the Severely Mentally Handicapped of Selangor, National Kidney Foundation, Kechara and many more, all in the name of Charity. We even got the chance to nominate and award the status of Friend of the Legion to one of our most active and dedicated combat photographer, Ivan Wong! (left picture, bottom 2nd from the right)

With the recent return of Star Wars to the Silver Screens and to the Mainstream pop culture world with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the 501st Legion is poised to be at the forefront once more as we present ourselves as Lucasfilm's preferred costuming group to many more events, charitable and otherwise. Moreover, we are poised to also be role models for kids to strive to become, not as bad guys doing bad deeds, but as "Bad Guys" Doing Good.

To date we have collected a total of over RM 78,000 in donations and made over 100 official appearances as the Outpost! Our members have also gone to appear for over 300 times in events all over Malaysia, Asia and the World!

The 501st Malaysia Outpost would like to thank everyone who has been with us in all these years, the gracious and selfless public that has supported us time and time again, our dedicated members and minders for volunteering their precious time and effort and last but not least, our fellow brothers and sisters from the World over, working alongside us in keeping the spirit of Star Wars alive through our camaraderie and merriment found in our joint troops & activities together!

With 10 years under our belt, join us as we toast to another 10 years and more of 501st Legion Malaysia Outpost and our efforts continue in our tradition of being the Bad Guys who Do Good!