Stormtroopers recruited to help Yellowknife’s pets

Members of the 501st Legion are pictured at an event in the United States
Members of the 501st Legion are pictured at an event in the United States in 2017. Chris Favero/Wikimedia

Yellowknife is about to be invaded by stormtroopers.

Helpfully for rebel forces, the stormtroopers say they’ll arrive on Friday afternoon and there are only 10 of them.

They belong to the 501st Legion – a worldwide organization of 14,000 people who cosplay as Star Wars characters – and they’re heading to Ptarmicon, Yellowknife’s gaming and pop culture convention.

“Being a member of the 501st Legion is quite exciting and fulfilling. It’s a really nerdy, cool way to volunteer in a community,” said Teresa Nuthall, who is the lone stormtrooper for Wanham, her community of around 150 people in northern Alberta.



Nuthall will be among the 10 agents of the Empire making their way north for Ptarmicon.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “We have one member from the ‘Arctic Outpost,’ up Nunavut way, and several from our squad in the northern Peace Country, and some travelling from the Edmonton area.”

Unusually, the Northwest Territories as yet has no stormtroopers.

“We are hoping we can change that,” said Nuthall. “We will spread the good word of the Legion. You guys need some people up here, let’s help you.”



“It’s crazy,” said Ptarmicon’s Reigh Foster when asked about Yellowknife’s lack of stormtroopers. “What happens if we get invaded? We have no protection.”

Foster told Cabin Radio the convention has been hoping to bring some stormtroopers north for years.

In keeping with the 501st Legion’s charitable work, stormtroopers in Yellowknife this weekend will pose for photos at a Ptarmicon photo booth – with all proceeds donated to the NWT SPCA.

View: Ptarmicon 2019 schedule

Members of the group will also host a talk during the convention.

“It’s really exciting when you see those amazing costumes. It’s so awesome how much work they put into it,” said Foster.

“And we really like how they do the charitable work. They spread the love of Star Wars while helping to raise money for great causes.”


Nuthall was captivated by the Dark Side from an early age, she told Mornings at the Cabin.



“I was one of those people who were fortunate enough to watch the original movies in the theatre,” she said. “My mother was a Star Wars fan and ended up taking us.

“I became Captain Phasma when I saw the new movies and this incredible stormtrooper, a female leader. That’s the stormtrooper I wanted to be.”

Members of the 501st Legion do not travel in uniform, so do not expect to see an onslaught of evil in arrivals at Yellowknife Airport.

Instead, you can meet the stormtroopers by attending Ptarmicon from 10am till 7pm on July 27 or 10am till 4pm on July 28 at Weledeh Catholic School.

Tickets to Ptarmicon cost $5 per day this year.

Foster said the price of admission has been slashed and a family-friendly venue found in a bid to increase the number of families who get to experience the convention.

A family zone at the convention, developed in consultation with local group Moms, Boobs, and Babies, will include story time, crafts, and other baby-friendly activities.