Max’s Memorial Birthday Party

Last August, we visited Max, a really cool kid who was battling a multitude of health issues. We had a wonderful time and Max and his family became part of our Star Wars family. Sadly, late last year, Max passed away. We’ve been staying in touch with his family since last August, and they asked us to be part of Max’s memorial birthday party on July 10th. It was a wonderful celebration and a lovely memorial, but it was really difficult to hold it together emotionally. While this is such a huge part of why I do what I do, it’s also the most difficult part. Last year, two of the kiddos I visited passed away, and it was just so incredibly heartbreaking.

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World’s Largest Toy Battle

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Costumers: Amanda Fineran, Jordan West, Kris Heding, Madeline Anderson, Molly Fineran, James Douthitt, Connor O’Laughlin, Kelly O’Laughlin, Alex Hall, and Aaron Weiss. Photo by Amanda Fineran.

On August 11, we participated in the World’s Largest Toy Battle, organized by Project My Neighborhood. We battled each other with old school Nerf Blast-A-Ball blasters from 1989 (it was hilarious because it’s impossible to aim these things). The weather was a little warm, but we still had a lot of fun and the kids seemed to have a great time having Nerf blaster battles against each other.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Premiere

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Minnesota Zoo IMAX on May 24, 2018.

I appeared at three different theaters for the Solo: A Star Wars Story premiere in May, and had a wonderful time! The first was at the Minnesota Zoo IMAX on May 24th. I really, really enjoyed the movie and immediately fell in love with L3-37.

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Costumers: Madeline Anderson, Nick Hickman, Kris Heding, and Amanda Fineran. Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran.

On the 25th, I was at the CMX Odyssey in Burnsville, and saw the movie a second time (and loved it just as much).

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CMX Odyssey group! Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran.

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The Resistance! Costumers: Nick Hickman, Kris Heding, and Amanda Fineran. Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran.

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Costumers: Lindsey Rae, Kris Heding, Jordan West, Steve Fuchs, Madeline Anderson, Mackenzie Urvand, and Mike Urvand. Photo Credit: Lindsey Rae.

On the 26th, I was at the St. Michael Cinema. It’s a beautiful theater! I didn’t see the movie a third time because I was kind of exhausted from doing a bunch of troops in a row.

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Just, you know, hanging out in the theater’s “cantina.” Costumers: Mackenzie Urvand, Mike Urvand, Lindsey Rae, Madeline Anderson, Kris Heding, and Steve Fuchs. Photo Credit: Madeline Anderson.

Make-A-Wish Sendoff Rally

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Photo Credit: Amanda Fineran. Costumers: Todd Murray, Pari Elizabeth, Trevor Bailey, Kris Heding, Amanda Fineran, Michael Tangen, and Eric Hanson.

On May 18th, we attended a sendoff rally for David, whose wish from Make-A-Wish was granted! He’ll be going to Jedi training at Disney World!

He had a pizza lunch with his friends, and we got to meet everyone during lunch. Then, we joined the entire school for their rally in the afternoon. It was a great time!

I hope David has a blast at Disney World!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Premiere

The week of the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was nuts (in a good way). I did four troops between two theaters in three days. Whew!

Thursday, December 14th: Plymouth Grand 15

I love doing events at this theater – the employees are all so incredibly nice! I went as Poe, and brought my BB-8 Hero Droid with me to see how he’d do at events. He was unruly (in true sassy droid fashion) but people seemed to like him.

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Costumers: Lindsey Rae, Dylan Scherer, Jeff Allen, Kris Heding, Anna Sawyer, and Jeffrey Knotz.

There was a local reporter there interviewing us and some of the theater staff. Here’s the video clip:

After the troop, we watched the movie and I had ALL OF THE FEELINGS. As you’d expect.

Friday, December 15th: Plymouth Grand 15

We had a huge group for this one, and it was awesome! We had a ton of fun, took some silly photos, and had a great time. (All photos below were taken by Madeline Anderson, and a couple were taken with my phone.)

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Costumers: Brian Nguyen, Meg Lehman, Erich Schwab, Eve Zabronsky, Phil Glover, Steve Fuchs, Madeline Anderson, Erich Ludwig, Trevor Bailey, Kris Heding, Mike Giralico, Sara Rae, Jordan West, and Pari Elizabeth.

First Order Colonel and General Hux take a much-needed break to indulge in tasty ICEEs. Unfortunately, Hux got a huge brain freeze. (Costumers: Sara Rae and Kris Heding.)

Join the First Order! We have droids (and we try to steal some from the Resistance.) (Costumers: Jordan West, Kris Heding, and Sara Rae.)

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Taking advantage of the lineup of Stormtrooper balloons. (Costumers: Kris Heding and Sara Rae.)

Saturday, December 16th: AMC Southdale

The Boy Scouts of America rented theaters in four locations throughout the Twin Cities on Saturday morning, and a handful of people trooped at each location. We got to see the movie with them after our troop, too.

I brought BB-8 along again, and he was much better behaved than he was on Thursday.

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Costumers: Amanda Fineran, Matthew Bastyr, Amber Rae, Erich Schwab, and Kris Heding.

Saturday, December 16th: Plymouth Grand 15

Second troop of the day! I switched to General Hux and we had another great turnout for our troop.

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Costumers: Mark Fisher, Jordan West, Henry Fisher, Kris Heding, Katherine Hickman, Amanda Fineran, Nick Hickman, Madeline Anderson, Aaron Weiss, Diana Patraw, and Leonard Patraw.

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Rebel scum. (Photo by Katherine Hickman. Costumers: Kris Heding, Nick Hickman, and Amanda Fineran.)

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Very funny. (Photo by Katherine Hickman. Costumers: Kris Heding, Nick Hickman, and Amanda Fineran.)

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Aaaugh! (Photo by Katherine Hickman. Costumers: Kris Heding, Amanda Fineran, and Nick Hickman.)

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General Hux and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. (Photo by Katherine Hickman. Costumers: Jordan West, Kris Heding, and Nick Hickman.)

Poe Dameron Blue Squadron Helmet

I bought two of the Black Series Poe Dameron helmets – one to leave as-is, and one to repaint to look like his Blue Squadron helmet for my Poe Dameron costume.

Painting took a long time because I had to tape off different areas, paint those, and then tape off others. Since the design for the Black Leader helmet is the exact same as the Blue Squadron helmet (just different colors), I didn’t want to spray paint the whole thing white and then attempt to accurately paint the details on later. So, this is entirely hand-painted, and it took several weeks to complete. I’m really happy with the end result, though!

Zoo Boo 2017

Zoo Boo was held for it’s final year the last two weekends of October, and I was able to attend three of the four days. It was so much fun and I’m incredibly sad that they’re no longer going to hold this event every year. It was held at the Como Zoo & Conservatory, and a ton of families came out to it this year.

Zoo Boo 10/22:

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Costumers: Ben McConnell, Jason Brezina, Phil Glover, Kris Heding, Aaron Lilyerd, Madeline Anderson, Jim Maahs, Jordan West, Alex Hall, Erich Schwab, Sara Rae, Steve Carter, James Douthitt, Katherine Hickman, and Coley Lind.

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These two little girls had the coolest costumes! They wore tutus and Darth Vader and Stormtrooper masks! Costumers: Kris Heding, Jason Brezina, Jim Maahs, and Ben McConnell.

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Creeper Hux at your service. Photo by Sara Rae.

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Costumers: Ben McConnell, Jason Brezina, Erich Schwab, Steve Carter, Sara Rae, Kris Heding, Katherine Hickman, Alex Hall, Phil Glover, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, Coley Lind, and James Douthitt.

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Costumers: Ben McConnell, Jason Brezina, Erich Schwab, Steve Carter, Sara Rae, Kris Heding, Katherine Hickman, Alex Hall, Phil Glover, Madeline Anderson, Jordan West, Coley Lind, and James Douthitt.

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General Hux, Jyn Erso, and Rose Tico having a bit of a break. Costumers: Kris Heding, Sara Rae, and Madeline Anderson.

Zoo Boo 10/28:

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Costumers: Nick Hickman, Colleen Dejno, Katherine Hickman, Eve Zabronsky, Karen Madsen, Sara Lilyerd, John Whitt, Amanda Fineran, Tom Chervenak, Erich Schwab, Yancey Thrift, Alex Hall, Lisa Trakas Duffy, Kris Heding, Paul Haga, Phil Glover, Blane Pierson, and Damien Woelful.

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Costumers: Paul Haga, Kris Heding, and Blane Pierson. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Costumers: Paul Haga, Kris Heding, and Blane Pierson. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Costumers: Paul Haga, Kris Heding, and Blane Pierson. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding. Photo by Shane Lewis.

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Photo by Shane Lewis.

Zoo Boo 10/29:

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Costumers: Paul Haga, Jason Brezina, Jeremy Horn, Karen Madsen, Amanda Fineran, Phil Glover, Jennifer Schubert, Alex Hall, Kris Heding, Robert Schubert, and Eve Zabronsky.