As it’s Star Wars Day, we felt it only right to showcase the Island’s ultimate Star Wars fans, the Manx Troopers.
How many Manx Troopers are there in total?
We have had approx 25 troopers since we formed back in 2009, most are still active but some have retired for various reasons.
Most still come along to support us and we have many volunteers who help the crew during events. We have 27 costumes into total, including R2D2 (who is fully motorised!)
How did you all meet and when did you form? What are your collective principles?
We started in 2009 with one costume, a storm trooper, then gradually over the years our numbers have grown, most of the crew were friends already and others saw us at events and wanted to join.
We have always agreed from the outset that we would raise money for local charities.
How much does an official outfit set you back?
The costumes vary in price, from hundreds to thousands – some are bought ready made whilst most of them are made from prefabricated kits, which need assembling, spraying etc. And some are build from scratch and take hundreds of hours to make.
All the crew pay for their own costumes and they are built in their own time.
What does one wear under an official outfit?
It depends on the costume! Some will fit over normal everyday clothes, some need black undersuits like the Stormtroopers and some are clothing in themselves.
Some crew don’t wear anything underneath!
Who has the most expensive/legit costume?
I think the most expensive costume to date is Boba Fett.
All our costumes are as film accurate as possible. We research our sources very carefully and ensure the kits are as close to the originals as we can get.
Tell us about your most memorable event/moment as a Manx Trooper?
A tough one! All our trooping events have been special in their own way.
I think my personal favourite was surprising a Star Wars fan at his wedding reception! We ended up on the dancefloor in our costumes 🙂
What’s your favourite Star Wars Film?
Empire Strikes Back 🙂
Do you feel that the modern day Star Wars films are doing the Star Wars legacy justice?
The films vary so much and they’re forever evolving. I think the newer films have created a younger generation of Star Wars fans and I think adults are enjoying them as much as the kids.
How will you be spending May the Fourth (Star Wars Day?!)
Working during the day, then we have a Troop on Friday evening, plus our Star Wars Day on Saturday and then an event on Sunday!
We all have day jobs, the Manx Troopers is a totally voluntary group who attend events in their spare time.
How do you feel now that Disney own the Star Wars franchise?!
I was apprehensive at first to be honest, but when I watched The Force Awakens I was surprised at how good it was, there is no doubt that the films are different from previous releases.
After watching Rogue One we loved it – but everyone has such varying opinions of all the films.
Favourite Star Wars character?
They’re all amazing but R2D2 has got to be my favourite!
Tell us about your work supporting local charity, ‘Wish Upon a Dream”
We originally looked into other Star Wars costuming organisations in the UK and Ireland and found that Make A Wish was a popular charity, but we wanted to keep things local.
After some research, we found Wish Upon A Dream who grant wishes for terminally ill children and decided that was the charity for us. We will of course attend events for any charity, but if one isn’t specified then all proceeds go to WUAD.
We don’t have a set fee for our events, we only ask for a donation of your choosing to charity. All the costumes are paid for by the crew themselves and we take absolutely no money. We do this because we love it and want to make a difference!
How can other islanders get involved and join the Manx Troopers community?
Just contact us – it’s as simple as that! We have to screen each member as we interact with a lot of children and the costumes must be approved by the crew. They should be as close to film accurate as possible.
We can be contacted via our Facebook page or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on our crew & events our website is www.manxtroopers.co.uk
And don’t forget to come along and see us on Saturday the 5th May at The Strand!