Canadian police descended on and arrested a woman promoting "Star Wars Day" in a Stormtrooper costume. She appeared to wield a fake plastic "blaster" — a fictional laser weapon from the Star Wars franchise — in a video, according to a post on Reddit.
Woman arrested in Star Wars costume carrying fake 'blaster'
In the video, a stormtrooper is walking down a sidewalk in a small town called Lethbridge, when squad cars and armed police suddenly descend and shout "get down on the ground! On your belly!" while a nearby business owner yells "it's a plastic gun! Are you serious?" from the front of a parked black Hummer.
Cries of abject terror echo across the parking lot from the woman as the Reddit poster approaches the scene. Two cops remove the stormtrooper's helmet and check the Star Wars cosplayer for hidden weapons.
Maybe she constructed a new lightsaber.
Of course, since it's difficult to see the weapon clearly, it could be a real weapon. But this raises many questions, most of them wild: if the Star Wars fan was a cosplaying shooter caught before the act, why did she cry? Why a stormtrooper costume? Why an ostensibly empty town, where there are more police visible than local residents?
Comments on bizarre stormtrooper props
Assuming the weapon was a fake blaster, the comments section on Reddit released the melodramatic tension with comedy. One user wondered if the police are simply partial to another sci-fi franchise:
"Apparently Canadian cops are Star Trek fans," said Redditor cafeRacr.
In reply, another Reddit user gave sublime support for this poignant supposition.
"An hour north of this city is [a] town called Vulcan. Yes they have a giant Enterprise statue in the middle of town," wrote Redditor Spotttty.
Vulcan bias and stormtrooper irony
Notably, the Star Trek franchise includes several shows about a crewed spacecraft called the USS Enterprise — a big white ship conventionally appraised as majestic and elegant in design. The franchise includes many alien species, one of whom are called Vulcans, who base their entire civilization on a radical notion of pure logic.
According to the Canadian government's public health page, quarantine measures are still in place, but there is nothing to suggest that walking while cosplaying as a helmet-wearing stormtrooper with a fake blaster puts other people at risk of contracting the COVID-19 illness.
However, an unspoken irony lies in the woman's choice to dress as a Star Wars stormtrooper. In the fictional films, stormtroopers — loosely based on the oppressive German troops of World War II — use brute force in cruel and inhumane ways to subdue a vast galactic empire's citizens. For now, it seems all we can do is take note of the experience and enjoy a conversation.