Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?
January 1, 2007 1:28 PM   Subscribe

The 118th Rose Parade launched today, with a bit of a twist -- George Lucas, Dark Lord of the Sith, as Grand Marshall. Is anyone else creeped out a little by this photo? Maybe I just don't know the history of the fully operational Rose Parade? Let's just get to the game, OK?
posted by frogan (55 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
This summer, I attended our little Michigan town's fourth-of-July parade. Starting off, and lasting for nearly a third of the parade's length, was a convoy of military vehicles: hummers, jeeps, mobile hospitals, communication vans, etc., etc., etc. It reminded me of a Moscow May Day parade.

I'm afraid we'll be seeing much, much more of this military fetishization over the next few years. This formation of the 501st Storm Troopers is just the tip of the iceberg.
posted by John of Michigan at 1:42 PM on January 1, 2007


It's LA. Some gangbangers will do a drive-by from a land cruiser.
posted by jonmc at 1:43 PM on January 1, 2007


Yeah, you're not the only one creeped out, but maybe not for the same reason that I am. While, sure, a group of a couple of hundred stormtroopers is symbolic of an oppressive autocracy, I'm more creeped out by the agglomeration of a couple of hundred fanboys playing dressup in public.

I'd be as creeped out if they were dressed as Klingons or officers on the Galactica or in Shatner-era yellow shirts. Maybe moreso.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:44 PM on January 1, 2007


Too creepy! BTW, your "creeped out" link has an extra h in the http. Just in case anyone doesn't want to bother taking it out manually, here is the corrected link.
posted by eparchos at 1:46 PM on January 1, 2007


I'm more creeped out by the agglomeration of a couple of hundred fanboys playing dressup in public.

Eh. Everybody's a geek for something. except me.

*puts on MC and tight-ripped jeans. cranks up 'Beat On The Brat,' and stands in front of the mirror lip-synching*
posted by jonmc at 1:48 PM on January 1, 2007


I'm more creeped out by the agglomeration of a couple of hundred fanboys playing dressup in public.

I had to laugh when the commentators said, "They made those outfits themselves!" They really didn't have to tell me that.
posted by JanetLand at 1:50 PM on January 1, 2007


I'd be as creeped out if they were dressed as Klingons or officers on the Galactica or in Shatner-era yellow shirts. Maybe moreso.

I see that every year, at Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day parade. After all the various Irish-themed groups get to march/dance/stagger, random other folks go: Klingons, Deloreans, and others. Hey--it may be their only chance to march in a given year.
posted by MrGuilt at 1:51 PM on January 1, 2007


...rather than creepy, I find it pretty hilarious. Really, it's not all that different from the Civil-War reenactors and Revolutionary-era pipe-and-drum companies that come to the 4th-of-July parade in my hometown.
posted by Upton O'Good at 1:54 PM on January 1, 2007


Eh. Everybody's a geek for something.

Natch. And we well-adjusted geeks geek out in private, not walking down the street in platform boots and a Chewbacca mask.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:55 PM on January 1, 2007


More sets of pics at flickr: [1] [2] [3].
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:58 PM on January 1, 2007


OTOH, a Jawa Sandcrawler running amok on the parade route — scattering bands, kidnapping majorettes, and ramming other floats — would be a sight worth seeing.
posted by cenoxo at 2:00 PM on January 1, 2007


Natch. And we well-adjusted geeks geek out in private, not walking down the street in platform boots and a Chewbacca mask.

No, closeted geeks geek out in private. Like our gay brethren and sistren, it is important that geeks of the world COME OUT, and say to the world: dig me, yo.

(and any devoted fan of anything-a movie, a TV show, a sports team*, a band - is a geek. When I went to see Kiss at Madison Square Garden back in 1996, roughly 30% of the audience was wearing makeup. I've seen similar scenes at Rocky Horror showings, Beatlefest, etc. Let your freak flag fly, says I)

* and sports fandom is one of the geekiest pursuits known to human kind. it involves uniforms, merchandising, endless arguments over stats, mascots...come on, it dosen't get geekier than that. *adjusts Mets cap*
posted by jonmc at 2:01 PM on January 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


More Star Wars juxta-ploitation. (I own that word, btw).
posted by Burhanistan at 2:04 PM on January 1, 2007


storm trouper with a saudi flag (the dark green one at the top)

Anyway, I find this a lot less creepy then real military parades. People enjoy the depersonalization of being a mob, but this one is harmless.
posted by delmoi at 2:07 PM on January 1, 2007


I attended the parade and have to admit the army of stormtroopers was the high point of the entire thing. From my point of view however, it just looked as if they were marching on Jack In The Box.

The Empire demands 99 cent tacos.
posted by jal0021 at 2:20 PM on January 1, 2007


For once I agree with jonmc. And equally I will here refrain for once from disparaging such g0rml3ss g33kz0rs. It's an important, even a central point: don't change a thing, you're already beautiful.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:59 PM on January 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yet more pictures.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:06 PM on January 1, 2007


I'm afraid we'll be seeing much, much more of this military fetishization over the next few years.

It's happening. At the local Friendly's restaurant, the waitstaff don't sing "Happy Birthday" anymore when a customer has one. Now, they chant some lame-ass cadence-counting rhyme instead. I can't remember the words, but they aren't an improvement. I don't know if they do that throughout the chain, but it really puts me off my feed.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:10 PM on January 1, 2007


Kirth, that's not military fetishization, that's avoiding copyright lawsuits. The owners of the happy birthday song actually pursue restaurants that sing it.
posted by flaterik at 3:26 PM on January 1, 2007


I just find it frightening so many men were wearing identical underwear...
posted by Samizdata at 4:06 PM on January 1, 2007


Plus cadences work better when people can't sing... I know this from personal experience...
posted by Samizdata at 4:07 PM on January 1, 2007


also kinda creepy :P Come, boy, see for yourself. From here, you will witness the final destruction of the Alliance and the end of your insignificant rebellion!
posted by kliuless at 4:10 PM on January 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Brilliant, kliuless!

Evil Emperor Benedict (seeing one of the young men eyeing his happnin' hat): "You ... want this ... don't you ... ?"
posted by diddlegnome at 4:16 PM on January 1, 2007


It would have been way cooler if, at a certain point, the Stromtroopers announced they were from a distant galaxy, dropped the flags, and laid waste to the crowd with plasma rifles, spurring some kind of inter-galactic war. That would be a way I could really get behind, as long as we came up with some equally inspiring attire.
posted by The God Complex at 4:17 PM on January 1, 2007


a "war"

also kinda creepy :P

A++
posted by The God Complex at 4:19 PM on January 1, 2007


Stormtroopers are awesome.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:20 PM on January 1, 2007


Apparently not as cool as "Stromtroopers", which are, without question, huge fans of segregation...
posted by The God Complex at 4:32 PM on January 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


This summer, I attended our little Michigan town's fourth-of-July parade. Starting off, and lasting for nearly a third of the parade's length, was a convoy of military vehicles: hummers, jeeps, mobile hospitals, communication vans, etc., etc., etc. It reminded me of a Moscow May Day parade.
I'm afraid we'll be seeing much, much more of this military fetishization over the next few years. This formation of the 501st Storm Troopers is just the tip of the iceberg.


Wait, I thought that was par for the course for the 4th? Then again I lived in a place where the Klan asked for donations on the street corner and actually got donations rather than swift kicks in the ass.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:47 PM on January 1, 2007


Given that the stormtroopers were deliberately modeled after fascist armies... Yes, this is creepy.
posted by Nelson at 4:52 PM on January 1, 2007


Now that the Rose Parade is over, tomorrow George Lucas will want to hold it again, adjust everyone's colors, and call it The Rose Parade: The Director's Cut. On Wednesday George Lucas will rearrange everyone's placement and add a bunch of unneccessary crap and call it the The Rose Parade: The Collector's Edition. By late June, we should have the Collector's Edition of the Final Original Director's Rose Parade.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:55 PM on January 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Those storm troopers rock and I'm glad they're on our side.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:09 PM on January 1, 2007


It looks like the band came from the greasy planet Lard.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:17 PM on January 1, 2007


It looks like th e Death Star cafeteria.
posted by mrbill at 5:27 PM on January 1, 2007


Fascist imagry or not, I've always equated wanting to dress up as an Imperial Stormtrooper with being a big Washington Generals fan.
posted by yhbc at 5:30 PM on January 1, 2007


I agree with jonmc upthread. No one would have found it particularly odd if the flag-bearers had been wearing sports jerseys. Following sports can be just as geeky a pursuit as following Sci-Fi, it's just more socially acceptable, apparently.
posted by quin at 5:34 PM on January 1, 2007


"The owners of the happy birthday song actually pursue restaurants that sing it."

This is true, and to me, is far far more creepy and sinister than a bunch of Star Wars geeks getting into a parade.

Copyright zealots are worse than dress up Stormtroopers.
posted by drstein at 5:35 PM on January 1, 2007


The presence of Stormtroopers instead of Naboo warriors or Clone Troops is an admission that nobody really liked the Star Wars prequels.
posted by Kirklander at 5:44 PM on January 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Those Stormtroopers were... inspirational!
posted by wendell at 5:48 PM on January 1, 2007


Following sports can be just as geeky a pursuit as following Sci-Fi, it's just more socially acceptable, apparently.

Shut up, nerd.

*gives quin a wedgie*
posted by Pollomacho at 5:51 PM on January 1, 2007


JanetLand writes "I had to laugh when the commentators said, 'They made those outfits themselves!' They really didn't have to tell me that."

Seems like there would be a vast untapped market here. Vacuum forming equipment isn't all that capital intensive you'd think someone would have prisoners in China cranking suits out in assorted sizes.
posted by Mitheral at 5:54 PM on January 1, 2007


The presence of Stormtroopers instead of Naboo warriors ... is an admission that nobody really liked the Star Wars prequels.

Either that or an admission that people don't want to be confused for Furries.
posted by eparchos at 5:55 PM on January 1, 2007


Oww. Pollomacho, you just wait till I show up on your doorstep with a couple of dozen Browncoats and Peacekeepers. Admittedly, we will all be to pasty and out of shape to do any physical harm to you, but we will sit you down and detail for hours and hours why Farscape and Firefly were both vastly better than Star Trek and it's spin-offs. Our enumerations of technical details about the minutia of these shows will be so complete, that your simple jocky sport driven mind might just implode under the weight of our fandom.

Your only hope is that at some point, someone raises the question of which 'verse is better: Whedon's or O'Bannon's? That could devolve into horrific civil war.

Fortunately the Stargate geeks have always successfully mediated our conflicts in the past, so hopefully it won't be an issue.
posted by quin at 6:27 PM on January 1, 2007


Well, at least this guy wasn't involved.........
posted by peewinkle at 6:50 PM on January 1, 2007


Your only hope is that at some point, someone raises the question of which 'verse is better: Whedon's or O'Bannon's? That could devolve into horrific civil war.

Take me out to The Black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea...
posted by Science! at 7:03 PM on January 1, 2007


Until they give the honor to Penny Marshall, that'll be Grand Marshal, thank you.
posted by anser at 7:25 PM on January 1, 2007


This would not be acceptable in Europe.
So, yeah, it's too fascist for me.
Them being geeks doesn't absolve them. The real worship for fascist imagery is to be found with geeks I gather.
posted by jouke at 8:17 PM on January 1, 2007


It's LA. Some gangbangers will do a drive-by from a land cruiser.

Actually, it's Pasadena, which is almost about as suburban and wealthy as Rodeo Drive, if not certainly more genteel and liveable, especially the park areas around the Rose Bowl where home prices will give Beverly Hills a run for its money.

There's a Frank Lloyd Wright house in there somewhere, not to mention hundreds of priceless California Craftsman homes and tons of historical spots where Golden Age Hollywood stars bought their sleepy bungalows and so on and so forth.

It's really just about as mellow, wealthy and genteel as Los Angeles County comes.

Granted, I'm not saying that any of this is inherently good, but merely pointing out that Pasadena isn't LA by a long shot. It just happens to be in the same county.
posted by loquacious at 8:18 PM on January 1, 2007


This would not be acceptable in Europe.

A good example of why most Americans don't live there.
posted by Science! at 8:39 PM on January 1, 2007


It looks like th e Death Star cafeteria.
posted by mrbill at 5:27 PM PST on January 1


Wow, what timing. Just last night I stumbled onto an Eddie Izzard standup performance on BBC America. Part of his schtick was a scene at the Death Star cantina. I paraphrase:

Cafeteria worker: You need to pick up a tray.

Darth Vader: No, I don't want a tray.

CW: Yes, you need a tray.

DV: Don't you know who I am? I am Darth Vader, and I don't want a tray!

CW: You're Jeff Vader?

DV: No, I'm *Darth* Vader, and I can kill you with a thought!

CW: Well, the food is hot, so you'll need a tray.

DV: The food is hot? Oh, I didn't realize ... (goes to pick up a tray) This one is wet ... this one is wet ... this one is wet ... this one is wet ... this one is wet ... this one is wet. Did you dry the trays in a rain forest? We run a fucking Death Star, why can't we have dry trays?
posted by diddlegnome at 9:49 PM on January 1, 2007


This is my favourite so far. They raise the flag of freedom over the verdant playing fields of Earth!

I think these people deserve their own special box on the Geek Hierarchy. Right near the top.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 1:21 AM on January 2, 2007


I think given the liberal stance of Lucas the irony here is quite deliberate, and designed to provoke exactly this kind of debate.

But a better statement would have been a black stretch limo bearing the presidential seal and carrying Jar-Jar Binks.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:15 AM on January 2, 2007


Plus cadences work better when people can't sing... I know this from personal experience...

You have my sympathy, but if you show up near my meal and start chanting like a drill sergeant, I will ask you to stop. If you don't, be prepared, because I may hurl.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:46 AM on January 2, 2007


I don't think George Lucas has ever done a single thing in his artistic life intended to provoke debate.
posted by Nelson at 8:41 AM on January 2, 2007


I don't think George Lucas has ever done a single thing in his artistic life intended to provoke debate.

I very nearly sputtered iced tea all over my keyboard. Please consult the early works of George Lucas. Thank you.
posted by felix at 12:09 PM on January 2, 2007


Sorry Nelson, I gotta agree with felix on this one, Lucas may have gotten to be a bit of a tool as he got older, but you can't dismiss his body of work out of hand. Particularly not as being "non-artistic".

For instance: THX 1138 (1971).
posted by quin at 12:33 PM on January 2, 2007


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