TB 12311 (Biker Scout)

Name: Dave Kenna (Teiwaz)

Legion ID: TB12311

What made you want to join the 501st? I took my daughter to Supanova in 2014 and was impressed by the professionalism of the troopers. I had a cancer battle during the year and I wanted 2015 to be defined by something other than health. I was not a cosplayer and knew nothing about building costumes but with the help of some great people I built a Biker Scout. My wife joined a few months later, and I was very happy to have conversations in 2015 dominated by Star Wars and not by health.

What costumes do you have?

What is your most memorable troop? I’ve done all sorts of troops from small birthday parties, fetes, hospital troops to major conventions. At each of them we do the same thing – We take a person, young or old, sometimes they are uncertain or even scared, and in just a couple of minutes they leave us with a smile like they just got off a ride at Disneyland. We do this hundreds of times a day and we leave a memory they’ll have forever. So they’re all memorable, but one stands out…

We were to do a hospital visit for a man terminally ill with cancer. A big Star Wars fan, his family knew he would be buoyed by our visit. Unfortunately when the time came to do this troop his health had deteriorated so the troop was moved to his home, where we met him and his young family. He was very ill, but his eyes brightened when he saw us and we all took his hand. It was very special to leave some special memories for him and his family as he passed away only a few days later.

What is your favourite Star Wars character? No huge surprise its the Biker Scout. In 1983 Return of the Jedi was a coming of age movie for both the franchise and the teenage me. We had seen Luke develop from a clueless farmboy to a seasoned Jedi, looking impressive in all black. We’d seen stormtroopers twice before, but this time we had something new. A new type of stormtrooper with a motocross style helmet riding ridiculously fast speeder bikes. They impressed me at the time and when I had the opportunity 32 years later I jumped at the chance to don one of those helmets myself.