Today the new Star Wars film is being seen by fans across the great white north (Canada – my home) and many parts of the world. Now this is a big deal, I married Lady Bear (or did she marry me... hurmm...) who's born May the Fourth. My first gift to her was an Episode 5 mug that is still only used by her - if you come over use anything else but that mug. She wrote her first not to me on a Vader post it.
I'm a Star Wars fan... sadly today and forever it’s missing a fan.
Let's talk about R2-KT.
R2-KT is the campanion of Katie Johnson? Who? Well she is the youngest daughter of Albin and Kathy Johnson. They have three children: Allie, Emily and Katie.
They have a family site here
Albin is also the founder of the 501st.
Yeah the 501st, the worldwide super club of folks dressed up as Stormtroopers – he started that. His personal log as TK210 is here.
Don't know them? They are a charity group that works around the world dressed up as various troopers from all six films (now seven - I keep forgetting that today we got a new film) of the Star Wars film franchise.
They have a code of conduct, it's simple - don't be a dick.
In 2004 Timothy Zahn used the 501 in one of his stories giving the unit the name Vader’s Fist. They became Darth Vader’s personal legion of soldiers.
In 2005 Lucas approved it and used the 501 in his movie Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. They are now offically part of the Star Wars universe.
Albin is a fan who's going around raising money for folks who needed it. Sadly he was one of those folks.
Katie sadly passed away in her sleep after fighting brain cancer for nine months. In 2005 for her final nine months she had a great ally – R2-KT.
R2-KT is pink R2 Astromech who folks will see in the movie that is premiering today. R2-KT has already been seen in the Clone Wars cartoon series (ignore the change in name). She was built by the R2 builders club – think 501 but folks just wana make astromech droids.
R2-KT is not 'pinkwashing'. Pink is simply Katies favorite colour. R2-KT stayed with Katie until the end and now travels around the world visiting kids and sick fans. R2-KT raises money for cancer fighters - they fight, they don't just survive. They are active participants in their own fate. They struggle with the everyday as they also battle sickness.
Star Wars fans have lots of hate, and lots of joy. Lady Bear and I are fans who like Star Wars (even if we dislike the odd movie of the franchise). We try to be the ones with lots more of the joy...
I’m gona like them, show them to the wee Bears, and remember my own personal moments of joy as I watch them over and over.
I’m also going to look forward to seeing R2-KT, evidence that we (the human race) can be nice to each other once in a while.