Get to Know Your MI501st :: June, 2011


Jay Shimko
Legion ID: 130
Joined April, 2002

Jay Shimko heard about the 501st a long time ago. "When I was doing research into making a Boba Fett statue for display I thought to myself, why not just make a display that I can wear? So, I was flipping through a Star Wars Insider and found a article on the 501st". The year was 2002 and Jay soon found Andrew Miller (BH 542) online who already had a completed Boba Fett constume and he helped Jay along the way. That Boba Fett costume turned into a habit of costume building and collecting. Jay also built a Tusken Raider, Dengar, Tie Pilot, Rancor Keeper, Imperial Crewman, Snowtrooper and TK (Stormtrooper).

Jay has trooped over 50 events since joining the 501st in April of 2002, but perhaps his favortie event thus far has been Celebration 3. "A few good friends packed up our vehicles and made the trek and had a experience of a lifetime. We got to meet many troopers from around the world, it was a good time!", says Jay.

His earliest favorite Star Wars memories take him back to a time when his older brothers talked him into putting M-80's into his toy Millienum Falcon! "They set the scene and we put figures in the ship and they had me all pumped up. It was great! The explosion was huge and the ship caught on fire. But the after effects were very traumatising..."What do you mean, I cant play with my Millieunum falcon anymore?", Jay remembers asking!

He and his best friend growing up played with Star Wars figures all the time. "We would take hours to pick each figure and ship one by one, and then it would take hours to set up and we would really never have enough time in the day to actually play, but that was half the fun. I think that is why I am so into collecting the vintage action figures today."

Jay has met some of his best and closest friends in the 501st. "When the Great Lakes Garrison was still the Michigan Squad, the troopers were a lot tighter than they are today, because there were so few of us. Most events were out of town and would require roadtrips. We made some tight bonds that way", says Jay.

When asked about the origin of his forum/board name, Jay explains it like this, "It is a long explination and there are ancient mysteries about it....Im just kidding it is my last name."

When he is not trooping, Jay makes a living running and operating a vacuum cleaner store and repair shop. "It sucks." (See what I did there?), says Jay!

His other hobbies include: airsoft, costume and prop building, video games, poker, and he is a Freelance Illustrator and Vintage Star Wars collection NUT! "I have every vintage loose and complete Star Wars figure from all three movies. My sickness is making me get into the Droids and Ewoks cartoon line of figures now", says Jay.

Some of Jay's accomplishments in life include: Becoming an official Lucasfilms artist, bridging the gap with Motorcity Comic Con and the 501st Legion as the event coordinator for many years, becoming the 501st's Trooper of the Month for April of 2007, Beating Lymphomia Cancer. His biggest accomplishment is my Baby Boy son (Matthew Allen) born in June of 2011.

View Jay's profile...

All Featured Troopers:


Oct '12: Joel Aldrich
Aug '12: Scott Jones
Jul '12: Rob Miller
May '12: Julie Balk
Apr '12: Derek Lane-Waters
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
May '10: Jackie Wagensomer
Apr '10: Shannon Trombley
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.