Happy Friday Round Rock! In an effort to get to know more about the people who make Round Rock such a great place to live, I am starting a new series called “5 Questions With….” Each week, I will be asking a few questions of interesting people of Round Rock – people who work hard behind the scenes, people who strive to make our city great, people who make fun events & places possible in our city, and just cool folks you need to know! So join us each Friday morning for…..
5 Questions with Marc Tucker
A few years ago, I began noticing a new group in town at several events and attractions. It was a Star Wars group that interacted with kids in a fun & approachable way. The Lone Star Saber Academy was started by Round Rock native, Marc Tucker. They have a unique story – one we needed to hear, which is why I thought it would be fun to get to know Mark with our 5 Questions series.
What do you like most about Round Rock?
Round Rock ROCKS!!! What I like most about Round Rock is the sense of community and how there are so many people striving to make this area the best place to live. Everyone I’ve met who are involved with the community have amazing hearts and give back in amazing ways – which is very empowering and attractive.
Tell us your ideal day in Round Rock.
My ideal day in Round Rock might be starting the morning by doing a photo shoot near the Rabb House or Baca Center. Then working up some saber stage combat routines for an upcoming show or event; maybe doing a Star Wars birthday event for a Youngling. Then top off the evening hanging out with our cul-de-sac family and a nice cold drink.
What’s your favorite meal to eat out in Round Rock?
I’m actually trying to do “less” eating out, but my favorite meal to eat out in Round Rock is probably the chicken fried chicken or bacon cheese fries at Cotton Patch, the gingerbread pancakes at Kerbey Lane Café, or Rudy’s BBQ! Great, now I’m hungry.
How did Lone Star Saber Academy come about?
The Lone Star Saber Academy (LSSA) started out of the desire to use my love of Star Wars to give back in the community similar to other groups already in existence. There are two groups that were the original inspiration of the LSSA that helped form the hybrid that the organization now is. The first inspiration is the 501st or the Rebel Legion. They are the groups who stand around in screen accurate costumes and raise money for charities on a more national level. Instead of just asking fans or the community for money, I wanted to give them more reason by providing a service.
The other group was a combat saber group called the New York Jedi. Their members would come up with original characters to embody. They would then learn the Jedi Martial Arts and use those talents to put on shows. I always had a fascination for Jedi and in general knights and swords and was eager to learn more.
I had started fan groups before, but all that ever happened in those groups was trying to decide “who shot first.” Community was created in the group, but I wanted to do more. My thought was to combine the ideas of both of the groups.
Myself, my co-founder Michael Jackson, and four other gentlemen got together to create the foundation of the group. Everything we came up with we went through ourselves to be sure it would work – there is a delicate balance in working with an all-volunteer group. That process took about a year, but finally the time came to officially announce the group (April 21, 2011).
Providing a service gives us a chance to show what being a Jedi means. Jedi give back a part of themselves to better a situation, a person, or a community. Jedi are seen as leaders in their society. Leaders are meant to empower others, not overpower them or power themselves. Those services we offer range from birthdays, special events, and classes to just showing up and being in character. The funds we get for any fees we charge go towards local Austin Metro area charities that we support. Our group is completely made up of volunteers. They come up with their own characters, costumes and sabers.
Over the years, the group has changed here and there, members come and go, but the identity of the group as a whole has never changed. Looking back it’s been like reading our own novel. The two main Jedi characters remain constant at the temple, teaching Jedi and community alike. Some leave the Order to seek out adventure, while others move away or go to a new temple. Some turn to the “dark side”, while still others just choose a different path entirely. Whatever the outcome, the “Force” has been our guide and the community will always be in our hearts.
What is a memorable moment that happened with Lone Star Saber Academy?
There are so many memorable moments for the Lone Star Saber Academy (LSSA). Being on TV within the first six months of creating the group. Our second major comic con in Austin where we raised over $800 for one of our supported charities, our first Fourth of July parade in downtown Round Rock (where it belongs), performing on top of the Round Rock Express dugouts last year for Star Wars Day, and meeting so many like minded members of the community. The most recent moment was our group funding and facilitating a live 20 min lightsaber show on our club’s anniversary date last month in April. The show was used to celebrate the milestone which in turn also raised money that will go back into the local community.
What’s the best piece of advice you would tell your 10 year old self?
Never stop dreaming because dreams can come true. Never look backwards for long but keep moving forward and keep trying. With a little hard work and some guidance from above, nothing is impossible.
Marc A Tucker is an independent photography and film professional. Marc and his wife Heidi have lived in Round Rock since 2007. They moved to the area from Idaho after Marc completed his film degree in Florida. Marc has worked on many reality TV shows such as “Will Work for Food”, “Bridezilla”, as well as the TV show “Friday Night Lights”. In recent years, Marc has also volunteered his photography services to Austin Disaster Relief and Round Rock Police Department. In between film gigs, he helps manage Sears Holdings Call centers as a Scheduling Analyst.
Marc also leads a not so secret life as a Master Jedi and the Founder of the Lone Star Saber Academy, a lightsaber combat group that uses their skills and talents to give back to the community through their love of Star Wars. Lone Star Saber Academy is a charity through, community service organization that uses Jedi Martial Arts to raise funds for local Austin Metro area charities.
More from our 5 Questions with… series
Mayor Alan McGraw
Mays Street Boutique’s Sandy Deli
Round Rock Councilman Will Peckham
Penfold Theatre’s Ryan Crowder
Kaleidoscope Toys’s Terry Myers
Round Rock Express’s Steve Richards
Round Rock Express’s Spike
Sweet Love & Sugar Britches’ Julia Broadway
Trashy Roots’ Anna Craig