Featured Trooper: Rheanna Labossiere

What is your background / what do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
I come from a small town that a lot of people haven’t heard of. I’ve grown up here, in Sooke, and have come to enjoy the outdoors and all that BC has to offer.

I am a freelance graphic designer, currently saving up to move somewhere new. My hobbies include origami, photography, being bad at video games, and experimenting with my appearance. I’m also slowly starting to dive into cosplay.

I love trying new things, so what I do in my spare time varies greatly. Some days I like going out and exploring the vast forests in my town, and others I stay in and read three books in one day. It all depends on my mood.

When did you see Star Wars for the first time and where?
I can’t remember exactly, but my brother must have had something to do with it. So probably in my livingroom when I was between 8 and 10? I remember as a kid, whenever I’d stay home sick (or “sick”, as I did a lot), I’d always spend the day in bed watching the original trilogy (sometimes the prequels, if I really felt like it).

What is your favorite Star Wars movie?
That is a really hard question. Like, really hard. That’s like picking a favourite pet. If you choose wrong, then the other(s) will always have a grudge against you. I love them all for different things.

Of course A New Hope is the OG, so I gotta give props to that.

What is your favorite costume and or prop (any franchise)?
Padme’s outfits were amazingly intricate and extravagant, and I always admired them growing up. Actually, all of the prequel costume designs were great. I have been playing a lot of Destiny, and I love the design of the Hunter class. I love me a good cloak.

What costumes (SW related or otherwise) have you made before?
I’ve made some underwhelming cosplays before, Kairi from Kingdom Hearts 2, a Pikachu, and a really bad attempt at Sailor Moon. Nothing nearly as complex as a full suit of armour. I’d like to definitely make more costumes, maybe something I can sit down in, that’s a luxury I didn’t realize you don’t have as a stormtrooper.

What inspires you creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
I find inspiration everywhere. From my varied interests, friends and family, to even a passerby on the street or something I see in a store window. I try to stay inspired, as it is necessary especially with my job. If I don’t get inspired, I don’t get work done. Simple as that.

How did you first find out about the 501st Legion?
I first saw a 501st Legion booth at Gotta Con in 2011 I believe. I was too nervous and shy to go up to the booth and ask about it, but I really wanted to join. And then I first met Yves Ho (TD-9815) and Colin Longpre (TD-6728) at Tsukino Con in 2012, and they were super friendly and nice in answering all the questions I had.

I actually would not have gone up to them if I wasn’t with my friend Keely, who’s a lot more sociable, so I have to give mad props to her. I was way too shy of a person to talk to strangers.

What drives you to stay trooping in the 501st Legion?
My drive comes from each and every person I have met in the 501st Legion, it comes from the smiles on everyone’s faces when they see us, from the sense of belonging at each troop, and from the adrenaline rush of being in a sweaty, stuffy plastic space soldier costume.

From the first days of being a recruit, following Yves, Colin and Katie around taking photos and videos, to the day I got my big brown box, the day I first wore my stormtrooper armour to Cherry Bomb Toy Fair, and waking up to get the approval email, along with tons of congratulatory notifications and messages.

Even to this very day, I have an overwhelming sense of pride and joy to be able to be a part of such an amazing community. I feel I have changed a lot because of the 501st Legion, and there is not enough I can say to properly express how much it means to me.

If you were to get a job at LucasFilm, what would it be?
I’d love to work with cinematography in some way, even though that isn’t my area of study.