Get to Know Your MI501st :: July, 2012

Rob Miller
Legion ID: 5068
Joined May, 2010

A long, long, time ago back on July 12, 1980, it was Rob Miller’s 7th birthday and his oldest brother Lucien thought it would be a great idea to introduce his little brother to Star Wars. So, they both drove down to the local drive-in to see a double-feature of this sci-fi masterpiece, as well as Alien. As Rob sat there mesmerized by the images of a gold colored robot and his friend R2 as well as the other characters appearing up the screen he couldn’t believe his eyes! Rob states, “That day was amazing. I was literally transported to a new universe! To think the only thing that I ever seen that I could even try to make a relation to was Star Trek, and honestly, it didn’t compare!” Sitting in the theatre at the edge of his seat, eyes wide open to witness the collapse of the Death Star and watching the final credits roll, he couldn’t believe what he just saw. After Star Wars finished playing, Rob’s brother asked him if he wanted to stay to watch the next movie, which was Alien. He told Rob that it was just like Star Wars, and Rob thought to himself, “If Star Wars is this good; I can’t wait to see the next show, Alien!” As he sat and watched Alien he wondered where the gold robots, light sabers and blaster guns were. He sat in the car bored to pieces, and it wasn’t until he saw the chest buster exploding from John Hurt’s chest as he lay on the floor of his brothers’ car, balled up in a fetal position crying, saying, “This isn’t anything, like Star Wars!” After seeing Star Wars for the first time, he begged his mother to take him to K-Mart to buy the toys, and his mother bought him the only three figures they had left on the shelves, which were C-3PO, R2D2 and the Storm trooper. That day he brought a little piece of a galaxy far, far away home with him. That day was the start of Rob's fascination with Star Wars.

Years later, attending the Motor City Comic Convention in Novi, Michigan Rob found himself speaking to several members of the 501st Legion. He was amazed with the quality and realism of the costumes that each member wore, he began inquiring about how their costumes were constructed, and he picked up a brochure to learn more about what the organization is, and what they stand for. He wanted to join the Legion with a Zuckuss Costume. As being an artist working with clay, he began the sculpting process for the Zuckuss head and he soon realized how much work would be going into making a costume for Zuckuss. Long time friend, Jerry Russell who was already a member of the Garrison, suggested that Rob create a Tusken Raider costume, as he was making one too. Rob mulled over the suggestion for a few months, and decided to scrap the idea for Zuckuss, and make a Tusken Raider.
The main reason Rob joined the 501st Legion is very near and dear to his heart. Rob has a young daughter who was born with two congenital heart defects, and Down syndrome. The first time Rob and his family met costumers from the Rebel Legion at a National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk, and his daughter, Riley was amazed with the Jedi’s light sabers, and she laughed and gave them countless hugs, and to see her smile, alongside of all the other children and their families at that walk. "The vision of those families enjoying themselves alongside professional costumers, and seeing how happy it made everyone was larger than life, and this inspired me to want to make a costume of my own and to be a part of something that made a difference in the life of a child", says Rob.

Since joining the group in May of 2010 Rob has attended over 40 events. When asked what his favorite event was since he joined, Rob states, “I enjoy trooping the NDSS Buddy Walks. To have my daughter hold my hand while I’m in costume is such a thrill! A lot of people get a kick out of seeing her walking beside me. She’s so tiny compared to me! Even though she’s just a small little girl, it’s amazing how she helps the other children not be afraid to come up to a character and say hello or to get their picture taken. It’s a good feeling to have my daughter as my #1 fan!”

Rob states, “The 501st has changed my life in many ways. First, it has brought some amazing people into my life. I’ve made some new friends who I have so much in common with. It got me out of my artist’s slump. It’s helped bring my family closer together, as both of my son’s troop alongside me in their own costumes on many events. More importantly, it has helped me teach my children as well as other people the importance of helping others, and donating your time, not judging a person and if you have the opportunity to make a difference in another person’s life, even if it is putting a smile on someone’s face, you should do it.”

Rob's forum name is Tubby Tusken. How he got that nick name is an interesting story to say the least. "I began as Bloodfreak68 on the boards because of my love of horror movies that name just seemed to fit me at the time, and I used that name for everything at that time on other forums I belonged to. I can remember trying on my costume for my submission picture and my middle son saying, “Aren’t you a little TUBBY to be a TUSKEN RAIDER?” I felt like Homer Simpson, and I wanted to grab him by the throat and say “Why you little …!” However, after he said that, I began laughing so hard and I thought to myself well, when your right, your right", says Rob.
He trooped later on with Rebel Legion member Chris Blackstock (Lumpy) and told him the story and he said, “Why don’t you change your name to Tubby Tusken?” After hearing him say it, and laughing together about it he knew it was meant to be.

When Rob is not riding his Bantha for the Empire, he works as a collision repairman at his family owned collision shop. "I take care of cars boo boo’s by placing band aids on them. Big band aids. When a car is in an accident, I get the cars fixed up so they look like they’ve never been wrecked. It sounds like a fun job... but it’s not. Sanding cars all day is like constantly swatting flies. It NEVER ends. Working at our shop is like an episode of American Chopper and I’m Mikey. My brother and my dad are at each other’s throats every day. Several friends have told us that we should have a reality TV show titled, “American Body Shop.” Unfortunately, we’d more than likely be shut down by the FCC after the pilot was viewed! It’s NOT what I want to do, but it pays the bills for now. I’m a few credits shy of getting my degree in Graphic Design", says Rob.

Rob also enjoys sculpting with clay. He enjoys creating special effects and make up for independent films. He also loves to draw, airbrush, painting, and geocaching with his family. He also enjoys to cook, and is the equipment technology specialist for Paranormal Research and Investigation of Southeastern Michigan. (P.R.I.S.M.)

When asked about what his greatest accomplishment is he replies, "Being a husband to a fantastic wife, who has put up with my costume building in the middle of our living room for many years, and being a father to amazing sons, and a daughter who is one of a kind."
His other accomplishments include being the owner of Malefactor Studios EFX, and he was awarded “Best Special Effects” at the Detroit International Independent Film Festival. He was named 2nd place winner for sculpture design and concept in 1996 at Wonderfest in Louisville, Kentucky.
His sculpture work has been shown on the nationally syndicated television program, “Strange Universe”. His sculptures have been featured online at Gremlins in the Garage, and several times in Amazing Figure Modeler, Images, and Fangoria Magazines.

View Rob's profile...

All Featured Troopers:

Apr '19: Mathew May
Dec '11: Jerry Russell
Nov '11: Dave Raimondo
Oct '11: Dave Gates
Sep '11: Matthew Wolf
Aug '11: Michael Lica
Jun '11: Jay Shimko
May '11: Brooke Merva
Apr '11: Matthew Blodgett
Feb '11: Michael G Karp
Jan '11: Doug Fesko
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
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 Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.