Stormtrooper invasion…part two

Completely by accident I discovered that the BJs in TenMilesAway was having a visit by a group of Imperial Stormtroopers. It was publicized (as best I could tell) only within BJs if you happened to show up at the store the five days before it and grabbed a flyer.

Given the clandestine nature of the invading Stormtroopers, I was able to keep it a secret from the Kiddos, whom I told only that we were driving ten miles to BJs on a Saturday.

Kiddo#3 didn’t want to go. I suggested he might want to wear his CloneTrooper costume to BJs. “Why?” he said. Because, I told him, it will be fun. He decided to wear his mask. I tucked the rest of his costume into a bag. Along with a few Star Wars books.

“Time to go,” I said.

Whhhhyyyyyy??? they whined.

Being a human of genius-level brilliance, I told them we were going to get apple cider.

My thirteen year old started griping. “If all we want is apple cider, we could get it at Costlies.”

I showed him the flyer. He shut up.

In the parking lot at BJs, a 20-minute drive later, Kiddo#2 groused, “Why’d we have to come all the way to BJs?”

Kiddo#1 said, “We’re buying apple cider!”

Kiddo#2 said, “If all we wanted was apple cider, we could have got it at Costlies.”

Just inside the front door, they saw Darth Vader and a Snow Trooper. They all got very quiet. Would they like to go and talk to them? Yes, yes indeed, they would. Would Kiddo#3 like to wear the rest of his costume? Yes, he would.

Kiddo#4 would not let go of me. Kiddo#2 was still having a snit. So they refused the photo op.

Kiddos 1 and 3, however, had a lot of fun.

There were also a rebel fighter pilot and an imperial officer on hand to sign books.

When I pulled out the copy of Star Wars, the rebel fighter pilot refused to sign it. “That’s a first edition!”

I said, “I got it for a buck at the library book sale!”

It turned out the entire trilogy were first editions, still with their $1 tags from the library. They refused to damage these treasures. Instead they signed the first edition Empire Strikes Back graphic novel my Patient Husband had let Kiddo#3 look at. Vader helpfully indicated who he was on the cover.

Then the folks organizing the event had a great idea: have Kiddo#3 saluting Darth Vader. The result was that one of the employees came to me and said, “Seeing that made it worth having to work on my day off.” (She said it twice, so I believe she meant it.)

After the photo I said, “Thank you, Lord Vader.”

We hung around through two rounds of raffles, and the Kiddos won a Star Wars Lego TIE Defender. They each got a Lego X-wing fighter kit, and they got a booklet with some Star Wars activities.

On the way out, Kiddo#2 said, “We forgot to get apple cider.”

I said, “If all we wanted was apple cider, we could have gone to Costlies.”

And she laughed. Overall, a great trip.


  1. Diana

    SO CUTE!!! Yay you!

  2. Jason Block

    THIS is what geek family surprises are all about! Great stuff. 🙂

  3. tallgirl

    Awesomeness. 🙂

  4. Karina Fabian

    Go Mom!

  5. Marie

    My husband is in BJs TenMilesAway twice a week buying milk. How did we miss this?

    Your kids will remember this for years. Wonderful job.

    1. philangelus

      It was very easy to miss. They had stuffed the flyers advertising it into the coupon rack. If he didn’t stop for coupons, there would have been no chance whatsoever of knowing about it. The publicity people really dropped the ball.

  6. capt_cardor

    So this is what geeks do on their weekends…Very Interesting!

    Kiddo#2 would have made a great Princess Leia. She could have said, “Aren’t you a little small to be a Clone Trooper?”

  7. Sara Ann Denson

    So glad I stumbled onto your blog. I love this. This is totally something my geek husband and I would, ahem, and have done. We also spent one Halloween dressed up as Ewok Hans and Ewok Leia while the kids followed behind as R2-D2 and C3P0. Thanks for sharing cuz it brought back some great memories.