On last night’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, members of the 501st Legion appeared dressed as Darth Vader and Stormtroopers to help rebuild a home for the Zdroj family. Mizzy Zdroj is a female firefighter volunteer whose home was destroyed by a large wildfire.
For those unfamiliar with the 501st Legion, they are a group of costume enthusiasts, who often dress as Star Wars characters at Star Wars-related events. They also do charity and volunteer work while dressed in Star Wars costumes.
Because some of the members of the Zdroj family were Star Wars fans, the 501st helped with rebuilding their home and creating a Star Wars-themed room. While Extreme Makeover Home Edition often features special themes that tie into the interests of the family being aided, a report on Deadline has helped turn this particular episode into a huge controversy.
Deadline ran a complaint from one of their readers that this was an example of Disney ruining the Star Wars franchise. With the Disney purchase of Star Wars, it’s been widely assumed that Star Wars will be integrated more closely into other Disney properties. However, this particular episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition was filmed well in advance of the announcement of the acquisition. It also featured a group already devoted to community and volunteer work.
While it’s become a hot media story that Star Wars fans were upset that this was Disney corrupting their beloved franchise, it doesn’t appear that many fans were actually upset. In fact, judging from the comments on Deadline’s article, the vast majority of Star Wars fans are familiar with the 501st Legion and appreciate the great work that they do. Most Star Wars fans seemed to have viewed it as a heartwarming act and not corporate greed, despite most of the media hyping on the few that might have been upset.