A Stormtrooper in Austin, pre X Games
May the 4th be with you
With X Games Austin 2015 just one month away, and "Star Wars" Day right around the corner ("May the 4th be with you"), a lonely Stormtrooper happened upon the X Games office in Austin to soak up all that Austin has to offer in the way of BMX, X Games office life and Galactic Empire armor reinforcement. Upon arrival, he grabbed an X Games emblazoned Gibson guitar off the wall and began to rock out in front of the BMX Big Air wall.
That armor is too strong for blasters
It didn't take long for the Stormtrooper to find a BMX bike, pick up his trusty blaster and find an empty tennis court to get some BMX flatland in. "How about you get into this armor and try to see out of this damn helmet, then I'll sit around in my comfy office," the Stormtrooper grumbled to his superior.
The Elite Guard
Lord Vader commanded his troops to learn the BMX flatland trick known as the hitchhiker. He had no option but to abide.
Look, sir: Droids
Sure enough, Stormtroopers riding BMX in Austin, Texas, home of the X Games, was sure to attract onlookers. Here, a family takes in a Stormtrooper version of the trick known as a funky chicken.
Close the blast doors!
What did Stormtrooper No. 1 say to Stormtrooper No. 2 after being chewed out by his commander? "I was making faces at him the entire time. These helmets are great!"
The Stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire were employed by the Empire to enforce rules across the galaxy and ensure that chaos was destroyed. But Stormtroopers close to the home of the X Games sometimes find it hard to abide by the rules.
One last flatland photo
"I'm sure glad I wasn't stationed in Austin when Vader was alive. I heard he liked to use stormtroopers for lightsaber practice," said the Stormtrooper.
Stormtrooper marine unit
Under the Empire, stormtroopers operated alongside Imperial Army and Navy units, and some were stationed on naval ships, where they served as marines. Stand-up paddleboarding served as recreation for the marine units.
After taking on the waters of Town Lake in Austin, the Stormtrooper took a leisurely stroll through downtown Austin.
"No, I'm not a little short for a Stormtrooper," said the Stormtrooper to the onlooker.
Break time for a Stormtrooper under a downtown bridge in Austin. Hey, even Stormtroopers need to rest from time to time.
Brew & Brew
Stormtroopers aren't allowed to drink on the job, so he took a break at Wright Bros. Brew & Brew in Austin, opting for coffee over beer. All visitors to the establishment were droid-free and happy to abide by the rules of the Empire.
There's a new pool open in Austin. It's deep, smooth and not something the Stormtrooper was used to riding. However, X Games BMX Park gold medalist Chase Hawk can blast the heck out of this new Austin spot.
And the downtown ledges? No problem for grinding by a Stormtrooper...
Austin's church gap
And finally, Austin's most infamous spot: the church gap.
Impressive, most impressive
"I've seen some impressive things as a Stormtrooper of the Empire. I've seen Star Destroyers tear apart a battlecruiser with just tractor beams. I've seen command ships so big they take three days to walk from end to end. I've even jumped the church gap that former X Games competitor Jimmy Levan jumped in 1998," said the Stormtrooper.
Stormtrooper's artistic side
As the Stormtrooper's visit drew to a close in Austin, he decided to take on his artistic side and traveled to Rock of Ages Tattooing in South Austin. It's a BMX, skate and Converge-friendly establishment with tools made specifically for Stormtroopers.
And X Games BMX Park gold medalist Chase Hawk was first in line to get a tattoo from a Stormtrooper. "You can't stay on target with these things! You miss your first shot, and you're lying on the ground with a hole blasted through your armor," said the Stormtrooper. (Check out @thomas_hooper_tattooing on Instagram for the final result.)
Ready for takeoff
And then it was time for the Stormtroopers of the Empire to depart Austin and head back to Coruscant. But with X Games Austin not too far away, who knows if they will return to compete on the MegaRamp?