In the interest of keeping up good public relations, and after the success of the interview with Draco’s “Darth Revan” from the 501st, I caught up with the other side.
With me now is Max Battistella. A member of the Rebel Legion and all round “Good Guy”
Thanks for talking to me, firstly explain to our readers how the Rebel Legion differs from the 501st?
Well long story short, the 501st predominantly do the “bad guy” stuff. So were talking Sith, Stormtroopers, neutral characters like Tusken Raiders and Jawas and pretty much the characters that don’t pick a side. Where as the Rebel legion is simple. Our motto is “We are the heroes. So we do Han Solo, Lando, we do Clones as well, as at one point they were “good guys” until they killed all the Jedi. We also do Jedi obviously, as well as the other main characters. We do have one thing in common though. We both strive to achieve movie accurate costumes.
So who are you and what is your position within the Rebel Legion, and what Rebel Base are you part of?
Im the recruitment officer for the New South Wales and ACT, and my base is Tython base. For those unaware, Tython is the home planet of the Jedi. That was chosen by our founding commanding officer, Fyr Murays.
I know you wanted to talk more about the Rebel legion but I wanted to know what characters you personally cosplay, and how did you come to choose them over a character from the Empire?
To be very honest, I never really was that interested in the Empire because well… they are the bad guys. I wanted to be a Jedi. My career in costuming started because my brother bought me the Anakin Skywalker Hasbro Force FX Lightsaber. I then got a custom Lightsaber from a custom Lightsaber shop and through that forum I actually met the founding commanding base officer for the Tython base and I had an existing Jedi outfit which I customised and then got approved. And from there I’ve met a whole bunch of different people. Like the dearly departed Justin Costello and Paul Kerr, we did trips together, so from there i’ve got other projects to do and my next costume will be “the Punisher”.
So what is your next upcoming charity event? I can only hope that this will generate some interest alongside whatever you are doing to get more people interested.
Well our next public even will be in May, which will be “Comic Gong” ( https://www.facebook.com/comicgong )which will be may 16th from 10am till 4pm and will be located in the Wollongong Town Hall. Last year was pretty well received. They had about three thousand people in what is essentially the size of a school hall. Kings Comics were there, they had a whole heap of comic book stalls, artist’s alley and merchant stalls. They had it all. Each year its grown so we look forward to it again this year.
So why do you do it? Clearly the Sith and the Empire are better… So why should people choose the Rebel Legion when it comes to Star Wars cosplay?
Well it just so happens that about fifty percent of our members are actually both part of the Rebel Legion and the 501st. funnily enough our founding commanding officer has just joined the 501st as an imperial TIE Rserve Pilot, so it’s the love of Star Wars is why we do it. I joined because of the whole charity aspect of it. I was able to give back. I don’t think I would have gone through the rigor of the approval process if it was just for the costuming. I already had a fairly decent costume, it’s a lot better now, but, that was my motivation.
I know the 501st are very strict when it comes to being accurate with their costumes before letting someone join. How do you think you compare, seeing as most of your characters are in Jedi robes or insanely complex like droids?
Well, Jedi are essentially Monks with glowing light swords. Their costumes will be somewhat simplistic, in the sense there is no armour. We do have Jedi Generals, like Obi Wan Kenobi from the Clone Wars (animated). We have a very broad spectrum of costumes and complexity, for example all of Padme’s costumes. There isn’t a single one that isn’t either expensive or complicated. Or both.
In that case what would be, in your opinion, the most complex Rebel Legion character to build?
That’s a great question. C3P0 is very complex, as is Jocasta Nu who is the Jedi librarian, but I would probably say the most complex would be Queen Amidala’s Regal gown.
Ok I want to get a little serious now. All competition and rivalries aside. You guys do some amazing work for charities, one in particular being Kidsflix. Tell us a bit more about who the charity is and what they do for the kids.
Ok so Kidsflix is organised by Arthritis Australia. It is essentially a family event for children with juvenile arthritis and other debilitating bone diseases. They have face painting, balloons, us as the Rebel Legion for photos. They also get a free viewing of a family film. Its essentially a way to get the family out of their daily routine and have some fun together and relax.
And how can people support you, or these kids?
http://www.arthritissa.org.au/kidsflix/kidsflix-nsw This website is probably the best place to donate if you are looking to donate outside of our events. anything you can spare certainly helps. we dont charge to appear at these events. and everyone puts in an amazing effort.
simply click on the donate button. Or come to one of our events and donate with us.
Will we be seeing you at the next Supanova (being the Gold Coast) and will there be any charity linked to your presence there?
me personally, no. on account of wife and kids and getting to the gold coast will be a bit difficult. but will the Rebel Legion be there? definitely. as I’m not mart of the Brisbane chapter I’m unsure what they will be linked to but I’m sure it will be a worthwhile cause.
Finally, are you looking forward to the new Star Wars movie? And is there anything you are particularly looking forward to in it?
Firstly. Hell yes! and I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Luke Skywalker kick ass!
Any final words for our followers from the Rebel Legion?
Thank you to Beyond Cosplay for taking your time to interview us and I wish you all the best. May the force be with you.
thank you to Max for talking to us and to Sarah Hillier for allowing us to use her amazing photos from past events. its great when the whole community pulls together to help sick kids.
So just when you thought the Sith were evil, I proved they weren’t, and when the empire thought all the Jedi were “scum” (thank you Grand Moff Tarkin) we realise they actually put in just as much effort in helping sick kids as anyone else. so it think we all need to take the time at the next con you see them at and say thank you to them all. you may not have a sick child, but they certainly help those who do make life just that little bit easier.
from me, May the Force be with you all.