9

I found a website that purports to show errors in popular movies. That is only marginally interesting to me. However, the picture on the front page (from a Star Wars movie) has me intrigued.

Storm Trooper

I am curious about the markings on the Storm Trooper's left shoulder.

I recognize that the symbol is similar to the Galactic Empire insignia

Insignia

but I can't identify the two other markings. Are there other pictures of Storm Troopers with the same or similar markings? Do they have any particular meaning?

17

The symbols are characters in Aurebesh, the Star Wars alphabet. Aurebesh is based on simple character substitution, so it's easy to tell you that those are the characters for "UK."

Less easy is what that actually means. Best I can tell, this is a kind of identifier for the United Kingdom branch of the 501st Legion, an organization of enthusiastic cosplayers. I've found this discussed on one of the club's forums, where you can see the decal being applied to members' armour (click to embiggen):

enter image description here

enter image description here

As far as I know, no members of the 501st have appeared in armour in any Star Wars film. If forced to guess, I would assume that whoever composited that image borrowed a publicity shot from the UK Garrison, possibly without realizing that it wasn't an official image; film-accurate costumes is one of the 501st's goals.

This decal seems to be highly non-standard, even among other branches of the 501st; based on the discussion in that forum thread I linked to, the 501st generally disallows "non-canon" markings at formal appearances. UKG appears to be an exception, though I'm not familiar enough with the club's internal politics to speculate on why.

5
  • 1
    Fascinating! So the fact that the insignia looks like a 6 pointed star and those letters happen to be identical to Hebrew letters which would have a value of 29 is completely coincidence? Neat! Thanks.
    – rosends
    Apr 2 '17 at 2:59
  • @Danno Probably a coincidence. Aurebesh is, of course, a completely designed alphabet, so it's not impossible that it was inspired by Hebrew. But there's no significance to "29" in this context, no Apr 2 '17 at 3:00
  • This is in fact the brand for the UK Garrison of the 501st Legion a group of costumers not cosplayers, and some of them were in a Star Wars movie having appeared as Stormtroopers in The Force Awakens
    – Baz
    Apr 7 '17 at 19:03
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    @Baz the storm trooper design in OP image was not in the Force Awakens
    – NKCampbell
    Apr 7 '17 at 19:31
  • The 501st Legion can be hired to appear, in costume, at events or other gatherings. Yes; not cosplayers per se. Sep 9 '17 at 6:06

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