Get to Know Your MI501st :: April, 2011


Matthew Blodgett
Legion ID: 8306
Joined June, 2010

Matt's earliest Star Wars memory is the result of family movie night. His family would get together and watch sci-fi and action movies because his parents loved those genres. Out of all the movies we watched, Star Wars really stuck out from the rest because it held something magical and special for him.

"The characters were so unique and spectacular that you wished that you lived in that world", says Matt. He was fascinated by light sabers and would dream that some how, some day he could have his own real working light saber and become a Jedi Knight.
That changed when his family bought The Empire Strikes Back. "It changed my whole outlook on Star Wars" says Matt. "That's where we first meet Boba Fett and right then and there I fell to the Dark Side. I knew that some day I would have to build a Fett costume".

A few years later that came to fruition when he came across a Boba Fett costume on eBay. It needed some work but he had to have it. It wasn't until after he started modifying the costume that he heard about the 501st Legion and everything that they stand for. Matt says, "I was really attracted to the fact that the 501st raises so much money for charity. I made it my goal over the course of the next year or so to make my Boba Fett 501st Legion approved so that I would be able to troop with fellow Star Wars enthusiasts, and share the joy of the Star Wars universe".

For Matt, becoming a member of the 501st Legion has been a great experience. "I have been able to meet new people who share my same passion for building movie accurate costumes and playing "adult dress-up". However, Matt feels the best part of being in the club is the looks on all the kids' faces and how much they absolutely love seeing their heroes magically transported from the screen to real life.

One of Matt's favorite missions was the Build-A-Bear Star Wars release at Rivertown Mall in Grandville. "The people in the mall were so surprised to see us in Star Wars costumes and it was rather enjoyable watching everyone's reactions, both children and adults alike", says Matt.
Could you imagine if you went to the mall when you were a child and there were characters from your favorite movie just hanging out? It would be better than seeing Santa and the Easter bunny put together.

When Matt is not hunting down a smuggler for a bounty, one might be surprised to find out that he is a professional brewer for Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids where he has worked since January 2007. "I have always had a love for craft beer and enjoyed home brewing for many years in college. I was fortunate enough to know the right people who led me to the opportunity to work at Founders. It has been the best job I have ever had and cannot see myself ever leaving the beer industry. I love every aspect of my job even though at times it can be very physically and mentally demanding, but I take it one pint at a time", says Matt.

Matt creativity and love for build things does not stop at creating movie accurate costumes; he also loves to work with wood and has built his own Baroque stringed instrument called a Viola da Gamba (it's like a cello but with six strings and tied on frets) and plays Baroque music with the Early Music Ensemble at GVSU. Matt explains that Baroque stringed instruments have gut strings instead of metal, and are played very differently than their modern cousins. "It takes quite a bit of discipline but in the end the sound is well worth it". Matt also plays the Violone del Contrabasso which is the Baroque version of the modern String Bass. "It has been a great experience sharing music with people performed on period instruments and using historically informed practices", says Matt.

View Matthew's profile...

All Featured Troopers:


Oct '12: Joel Aldrich
Aug '12: Scott Jones
Jul '12: Rob Miller
Jun '12: Jennifer Rodriquez
May '12: Julie Balk
Mar '12: Zachary Titus
Jan '12: Carrie Ivey
Dec '10: Jesse McClear
Nov '10: Carl Nelson
Oct '10: Michael Arnold
Sep '10: Chris Brown
Aug '10: Justin Overholt
Jun '10: Rome Ohnui
May '10: Jackie Wagensomer
Mar '10: Aaron Combs
Feb '10: Martin Pondell
Jan '10: Amanda Raimondo
Dec '09: Rob Brang
Nov '09: Robert Amid
Oct '09: Tiffany Murphy
The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm LLC, it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © 2017 Lucasfilm LLC. & ™. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.