Galactic Empire Invades Star Wars Class | Webster University

Galactic Empire Invades Star Wars Class

ST. LOUIS (September 5, 2019) – Not so long ago, in a galaxy very near here, Stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire appeared to be guarding the doors of Sverdrup Hall. Boba Fett the bounty hunter looked fierce in his Mandalorian armor. The dark warrior Kylo Ren was also seen in their company. Had they arrived to invade new territory? Fortunately, Rey, Finn, and Jim Tudor, an adjunct faculty member, arrived to support the Resistance.

Star Wars costumed characters from 70th Explorers GarrisonJim Tudor, as it turned out, had invited this menacing looking bunch to visit his Film Studies topics class, "Star Wars: A Journey through Cinema, Media, and Culture." The costumed, fictional characters were representing the 70th Explorers Garrison, Gateway Squad, a subdivision of the 501st Legion, an international organization that promotes interest in Star Wars.

Its members are required to make their own screen-accurate Star Wars costumes either from kits or from scratch. Members of the 70th Explorers Garrison and the 501st Legion are involved in charity work such as granting wishes for the Make-A-Wish foundation, visiting patients in the hospital, fundraising, and other community events. All those present agreed they find their efforts very fulfilling.

Tudor's interest in all things Star Wars began in the late 1970s when he collected a set of four Star Wars promotional posters distributed by Coca-Cola and Burger Chef. It has since expanded to include films, video games, comic books, and more.
Rey and Finn, Star Wars costumed characters from 70th Explorers Garrison
He is thrilled to be teaching a course about the Star Wars films and related media. Students in the course will examine topics including science fiction before Star Wars, Star Wars spoofs and imitators, Star Wars and politics, Star Wars and religion, and the future of Star Wars.

Tudor is the co-founder and site manager of ZekeFilm, a nonprofit organization for film viewing and discussion. He is also director of the St. Louis Film Critics Association. He graduated from Webster University in May 1997 with a bachelor of arts degree in Film.

The 501st Legion is an international organization that promotes interest in Star Wars through the creation, display, and wearing of quality character costumes. It facilitates the use of costumes to engage in volunteer work, fundraising, and community appearances. The 70th Explorers Garrison, is a subdivision of the 501st Legion that serves Missouri and Kansas.

70th Explorers Garrison members who appeared:

  • Savanna Burton – Rey
  • Glenn Douglas –Kylo Ren
  • Rich Heffernan – Garrison Commander
  • Dawn Hoff – Qi'Ra
  • Dave Motes – Stormtrooper
  • Danny Nichols – Stormtrooper
  • Rafael Richards – Finn
  • Kurt Wood – Boba Fett
  • Steven Zapolski – Stormtrooper

About the School of Communications
The School of Communications ( at Webster University prepares students to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communications. We provide theory and practice in media courses framed within a liberal arts-based curriculum, augmented by personalized mentorship, and professional development opportunities. Sixteen distinct majors are available at the undergraduate level as well as five master's degrees in diverse fields of communications. We offer BA and MA programs on the Webster campuses in Geneva, Vienna, Leiden, Thailand, Ghana, Uzbekistan, as well as in Saint Louis and online.

About Webster University
With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University ( comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to ensuring high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.