EVENT: Solo A Star Wars Story Count Down
LOCATION: Toho Cinema complex Rappongi Hills Tokyo
DATE: 28th June 2018
Director Krennic Dooku-Jr. ID10307
Anakin らいと SL17501
Imperial Ground crew Hina IG21206
Wejuan Chen DZ50139 (Taiwan Garrison)
So i recently passed muster and got approved and assigned TKID19758 and was eager to get my first troop under my belt.
The first was a pretty big one being the release of the Solo A Star Wars Story here in Japan and the Japan Garrison was asked to attend the general release early screen on the 28th with a count down clock celebration. Normal Imperial citizens would have to wait till the 29th!
Yep a full month after the rest of the galaxy - sucks being stationed in the outer rim!
So being the eager new recruit I packed my gear and headed to the venue in central Tokyo arriving a full 3 hours before the meeting time - and then spent the a good two hours "hurry up and waiting" fortunately two other members had also arrived early due to working in the Imperial capital and so we grabbed an ice coffee and took full advantage of the outside seating and cooler temps the day was offering.
At 7pm the Garrison assembled at the cinema complex and were ushered in to a changing area kitted out with drinks and snack - Hey trooping can't be as hard as others make out for sure!
After a team meeting many of the garrison introduced themselves and I was overwhelmed by the amount of stickers, patches, collectors cards I was given and the friendly attitudes they all had - I have read about others feeling guilty about having nothing to exchange - but nothing actually prepares you for that guilty feeling of having nothing to offer back.
7:30 - time to armour up and everyone knuckles down and gets serious as they gear up - fortunately having recently being approved I must have got in and out of my armour about 100 times as I messed with the fittings and strapping so I was at least able to look like I knew what I was upto.
PING - Oh no!
As I put the thermal detonator on to the belt one of the clips snaps - and I watch it spiral off in slow motion, thankfully its a prop or this troop would have ended right there and then for everyone!
With a bit of brute force I was able to bend the remaining portion of the clip to form a crude lip and then - my dentist is going to love me - bit down on it to allow it to bite the cloth of the belt.
Fortunately wranglers Bulldog44 was on hand to get me sorted out and got the TD attached.
8pm - hit the deck running!
I was scooped up with several other TK's and wrangled out into the public who immediately responded to our arrival.
The rest was pretty much a blur!
During the first screening we got a break and some seriously needed refreshments - I downed a bottle of water and instantly started sweating - which meant I was seriously dehydrated .......need more water!
The officers were back in no time and wrangling us out again in to the lobby and entrance to welcome more guests and the place was getting ever more crowded as more Star Wars fans arrived in some pretty amazing costumes including two girls - one dressed as the Millennium Falcon and another dressed as L3-37!!
Finally we got the call to return to the dressing room and everyone changed out of their armour and into 501st pit crew shirts ready for our viewing of the film - yeah I wanted one real bad!
I was pretty beat by this time and it was now just past midnight - I hoped the film was good enough to keep me a wake!
I have to admit I caught myself nodding off a few times but looking around the rest of the garrison I wasn't the only one with battle fatigue!
With the movie over everyone either went off to get something to eat and drink and discuss the movie while they waited another 3 hours for the trains to start - me on the other hand had to drive home so that my wife would have the car for her early shift start at the hospital - rolling in to bed at 4am I was instantly a sleep and hoping I would be awake on time to help get the ids ready for school!
All in all that night will stay with me forever - the amazing support of my garrison and the warm welcome they gave me and the smiles on the fans faces as we interacted and posed for photos with them and for them.
REPORT BY: FarEast TK19758