What is Star Wars Artistic Team (S.W.A.T.) and for whom we’re here
S.W.A.T. is partially making childhood dreams come true and charity organization (non-profit).
We have never expected that we would manage to create a Polish group of "crazy" (in a positive sense) people who would want to participate in enterprise like ours only to help others and for the sheer fun of it, as we are a non-profit organization.
There are many Star Wars costuming clubs, like the 501st Legion (gathering the bad guys’ costumes) or the Rebel Legion (the good guys). In Polish Star Wars fandom there's a conviction that one has got to be rich to own a screen-accurate costume and be a member of what some people call "elite" clubs, like the 501st.
In S.W.A.T. the costumes are not most important - what really matters to us is the people who wear them. We have a high regard for moral values which guide us during the events we take part in, and respect for the rules we mustn't break.
A member's costume isn't the key feature for us. Due to such priority, we're open for people who can put their hearts into voluntary work for others. The costume always comes with time and we're more than glad to help you make or acquire it.
One of our rules is that self-promotion is strictly prohibited (we only promote good will and kindness, and of course our club), as during our events we enact the roles of Star Wars characters and we become these characters in the eyes of our audience. For them, we are not people in costumes, but movie characters, as it's the armour or the Jedi robe that attracts people, not the person wearing it. We make our characters special because we feel good in the costumes we wear and we know what to do and how to behave to look like we've really come from a galaxy far far away. For example a stormtrooper shouldn't take his helmet off during events, especially if there's any media around.
S.W.A.T. members who don't wear helmets or masks answer questions not as themselves but as the characters they play. Everything for the suspension of disbelief and preserving the cosmic atmosphere.
We wouldn't like to cross the border behind which commercial activity, business and self-promotion begin and fun and satisfaction from what we do for others end. It's also connected with the fact that we don't own the Star Wars trademark and we don't want to use it to make money.
S.W.A.T. exists only for Polish people and Polish children. It's not about being nationalistic, but we want to do something which has not been present in our country in the past: making special things and exclusive events accessible to people who can’t otherwise afford to participate in them. Spreading positive values among the people we meet is far more valuable to us than money. We want to do something for the community, so we work together with the ‘Fundacja Spełnionych Marzeń’ (‘The Foundation of Dreams Come True’) anytime we can. We've been working with them for over two years now, we can say that S.W.A.T. came to life because of this foundation kindness. The smile of an ill child is worth much more than money.
Now, getting back to the fandom.
How we differ from other fanclubs is the fact that we're not there for Star Wars geeks or addicts, but people who simply like Star Wars and have never thought that they could meet a character form the movie in real life.
We want people to associate Star Wars with something positive, not with something out of reach. The "real" fans can always find us, for example browsing our website, where they can find information about the nearest events we're taking part in.
We're also unique because we don't put borders in terms of the fraction of Star Wars universe (Jedi, Rebellion, Empire, Bounty Hunters etc.) - you can join us with any kind of costume. Secondly, we’re doing everything for free (which doesn't mean that we pay for everything ourselves). Lastly, you don't have to earn a lot to join our group. It's enough if you feel the need to help others, but you don't know how it could be done. Thanks to our costumes it's easier for us to interact with children and adults alike. We also know that in some way we make their dreams come true and give them a bit of positive energy.
Our performance during events is carefully planned and rehearsed. Not only do we enact scenes ourselves, but also invite children to join us in various games.
All the time we are trying to raise our limits and become more and more of a professional group.
We are not a division of an international organization but a fully Polish enterprise of equal quality to the world's best Star Wars fan organizations.
We're eager to cooperate,
May the Force Be With You