You missed it again, didn’t you?

The last hurrah at Des Plaines Bowl

Karaoke. Second verse, same as the first

Chicago Force met once again at the Blue Frog Bar & Grill to sing it’s heart out. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) the video tape of this event was, um, un-usable.

But we do have pictures.

You want the DVD? You can’t handle the DVD!

You want the DVD? You can’t handle the DVD!

On September 21, 2004, Lucasfilms caved into fan pressure and released Episodes 4, 5 & 6 on DVD. A fourth disc was included that had behind-the-scenes documentaries and other assorted goodies.

Chicago Force was on hand with many of Chicago’s finest Star Wars fans for the midnight release of the DVD boxed set. Check out the madness.

Where the Beautiful PeopleĀ© hang out

The Annual Chicago Force Summer BBQ was a great time to hang out, relax, bash politicians, and share in all things Geek. Just don’t walk into the wrong conversation if you want to stay away from movie spoilers!

5th Annual Line Party & Anniversary

May 15, 2004 saw the 5th Anniversary for this little thing we call Chicago Force.

It’s been a long and windy road, and it seemed only appropriate for this year’s Anniversary/Line Party to be held at the birthplace of Chicago Force, Zephyr’s Ice Cream parlor.

While the sunlight made things a little warm in the beginning, a good time was had by all. Zephyr’s puts on a good spread, and there was plenty of time for mingling, chatting, and playing embarassing parlor games.

Check it out.


Chicago Force met up at the Blue Frog Bar & Grill on March 27, 2004.

Alcohol was consumed.

People sang.

Hilarity ensued.

Brought to you by Duct Tape and the letters F and U

Capricon 2004 has come and gone, and all that is left is the memories. Well, that, and hang-overs, empty bank accounts and probably a number of lawsuits.

Sci-fi/fantasy conventions are interesting things. Like salmon swimming upstream, geeks travel to conventions to be with our geekly brothers and sisters, breed, and die (or in some cases, wish we had). Capricon 24 was no exception. There was the vendor room, art show, Critter Crunch, Photo Scavenger Hunt, and this year, Klingon Karoake, which really had to be experienced to be believed.

One huge change, for us at least, is that this year Chicago Force was in charge of decorating and running the Con Suite. For those of you who are mundanes, the Con Suite is a dining-room/lounge where people can go to eat, read, relax and in at least 3 cases last week, sleep. Now, normally the Con Suite is a fairly generic set-up, with some food and tables to sit at. But Chicago Force doesn’t do generic, do we?

Of course not. Silly question.

We had been invitied to decorate the Con Suite because of the work we did on our Jabba the Hutt party, so it’s not like we could throw some pop and cheese & crackers on a table and call it good. After much discussion, we decided that we should do Bespin’s Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back. The pristine walls and elegant decorations lend itself well to the function of the Con Suite.

Words can literally not describe the end result, but before we jump into the pictures, it would be remiss not to recognize the hundreds of hours that people put into the making of this venture. This was a labor of love no matter what angle you look at it from. First and foremost thanks go to the core design team of Shauna, Heather, Carrie, Dinel, Dave and Caroline who spent more time packing things up and down Shauna’s stairs than many people spent in total (Shauna, you really need to move to the ground floor. Really). Erica, Matt, Thom, Phil and myself also spent a considerable amount of time cutting, sanding, painting, and just doing gerneral constructive-type things. In fact, pretty much every regular CF member pitched in to make this event a success, from storage, shopping, construction to setup and tear-down. We thank you all.

Special thanks also needs to go out to Chris and Steven Bornhoeft from Quad City Jedi Order for the air of realism they added with their Han and Luke Bespin outfits. Seeing Han getting lowered into the carbon-freezing chamber and Luke battling Vader was the apex of Star Wars fandom for a long time to come. They also came through in a pinch by building a movie-quality Ice Cream Maker Guy prop in 10 minutes out of spare parts. Freeze-frame the movie and compare our picture to it; I dare you to find a difference.

Lastly, Chicago Force would like to thank Capricon for giving us this opportunity to spread our creative wings, and to all the great fans, both costumed and plain-clothed, who stopped by to experience and compliment our efforts. Hearing your kind words makes it all worth while.

OK, I am going to go cry now. Enjoy the pictures.

Life Day Party 2003

Chicago Force continued with the annual holiday tradition by invading the house of JediJeff to eat his food, watch his TV, and leave severed chicken parts in his mailbox for the poor post office employee to find.

We had a good turn-out, as always, and everyone had a great time…until Jeff started showing the “Holiday Special” anyway. Seriously, folks, this should really only be used to induce vomiting. Don’t let that scare you away from coming out next year, though. We can’t say it any more plainly than this: if you don’t come out, you are missing out on a great time.

We make beautiful music together

October 18, 2003 – Classical music is not necassarily the first thing that most people think of when they think of science fiction, yet many science fiction movies draw on the sound of the masters. Who can think of 2001: A Space Odyessy without humming “Also Sprach Zarathustra” or “Blue Danube”?

The West Suburban Symphony recognized the connection and organized a concert that showcased the many sci-fi themed pieces that can be found. Of special interest to Chicago Force were several pieces from John Williams’ Star Wars score. To set the tone for the evening, the Symphony contacted Chicago Force and asked us to deorcate the lobby of the high school in which the concert was being held.

Also present were members of the Rebel Legion and the 501st’s Midwest Garrison. While the Symphony played the “Imperial March”, the costumers marched in the aisles of the theater, ending as a group in front of the musicians right as the piece ended. The audience loved it (but we knew they would).

Chicago Force would like to thank the Rebel Legion and the 501st for their ever-impressive visit, and the West Surburban Symphony for inviting us to their party and allowing us to express our geekiness.

Paintball 2003

On September 20, 2003, Chicago Force had it’s Second Annual Paintball Extravaganza! OK, maybe it wasn’t ‘extravagant’, but it was a great day for paintball. Not too cold, not too hot, nice and sunny.

There was a good turn-out, with 27 people showing up to shoot Hawk…er, to play a rousing game of paintball. And how about those Star Wars scenario games, eh? Boy, we really hyped those didn’t we? That was going to be a lot of fun, we’re a Star Wars group, we’re playing paintball, we should play Star Wars paintball games…

Well, they sucked. I admit it, they didn’t work at all. Not even a little bit. In retrospect, I think I was making the rules too complex, and in the heat of ‘combat’, the fewer rules you have to remember the better. Also, there was a bit of friction with the management (we don’t need to go into that now; it’s a quality field, run by professional people, but everyone has their bad days), and we were only able to try one scenario: the Geonosis Arena. It seemed that the material I chose to make the ‘impenetrable’ Jedi lightsabers out of…well, let’s just say that paintballs went right through it. The armor of the AT-ATs was the same stuff, even if we would have been able to use them. The moral of the story is either keep the rules simple, or stick to tried-and-true paintball games.

That’s not to say that we didn’t have a good time. Everyone that I talked to whole-heartedly gave the day a thumbs up. Blast Camp is a great field, and Nate was an excellent ref. He was able to keep a rowdy group in check and had some great games for us to play.

Most of the post-game talk was along the lines of “Can’t wait until next year!”, and I think it’s safe to say that Chicago Force will be back at Blast Camp on the third weekend of September, 2004. Who knows, we may even drag along some Trekkies to shoot at.

Have I talked enough? You just want to see the pictures already? OK…