Empire: From the Front Lines

March 2024 - Darren Hernandez

501st Alias/Callsign*

Tk/IG/TI – 82904

What is your name and why did you pick your 501st Alias?

Darren Hernandez and my alias is my wedding anniversary. Helps me not forget;)

When did you join the Legion and why? 

Believe it was close to November of 2019 when I joined.

I’ve always been obsessed with all things Star Wars. I dreamed of one day having my own legit stormtrooper costume but couldn’t imagine how. My wife purchased a kit from an over seas company (who will remain nameless) for my birthday. 2 years later the big brown box arrived. While I waited, I discovered the 501st and all the awesome stuff they do. Dressing up and spreading joy was a win win for a nerd like me. Three costumes later and two more in the works it is still such a fantastic hobby.

Of all of the troops you have been a part of, which one has stood out the most & why?

I’ve had the opportunity to troop some awesome events, big and small. Both in Los Angeles and in Georgia. I’d have to say my first troop in Georgia. A small event at the Gwinnett county fair grounds, the Race for Autism. So much love and joy from everyone when we do this event.

How has being a part of the 501st impacted your life?

It has allowed me to meet so many fun and creative people. See all kinds of awesome costumes at great events. It has also blessed me with the opportunity to cross being in a Star Wars movie or show off my bucket list. During my time with the SoCal garrison I was selected to be a trooper on the Obi-Wan series. Sometimes having a great attitude and a good looking stormtrooper costume gets you places 🙂

Outside of trooping and 501st related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some other interests or hobbies that you have?

I work for the community services department for Gwinnett county for almost 2 years. I get to see and discover the amazing parks throughout the county. I’m a vinyl record collector and a retired DJ. I love 80s and 90s movies a little to much and love to talk about them.

Can you give us an idea as to the kind of support you get from friends and family regarding the 501st and all the great things that you have done with the GA Garrison?

I get nothing but positive support from my family. My kids think it’s magical and my friends want to join but are intimidated. Since I’ve transferred to the GA garrison I’ve gotten to participate at awesome cons like Dragoncon, Toylanta, Momocon and Atl Comic Con. Also able to troop and see the Braves play as well as the awesome Gwinnett Stripers.

And lastly, is there anything, Star Wars related or not, that people might not know about you that they might be surprised to find out?

Well I may have answered this a few questions above lol. Some fellow members know but I’ve been married for almost 20years and we have twin five year old boys 🙂

Darren in his Imperial Gunner Costume