If you’ve been to Australia in the last few months, you may have passed by a man dressed in a full Stormtrooper costume, pushing a cart full of his belongings. It’s understandable if you thought it was an insane (or at least pretty unhinged) person, but not so: it was Jacob French, on a walk to raise $100,000 for seriously ill children.
French set off from Perth, in southwestern Australia, in July 2011, and arrived in Sydney, in the southeast, this month. “Troopertrek” took him 5,000km (3,106 mi), and through eight pairs of shoes. The idea was born in 2010, when French ran a half marathon in the suit and realized what an attention-grabber it was. He is a member of the 501st Legion, a group Star Wars enthusiasts who dress as the film series’ bad guys and do charity and volunteer work.
Safe to say French set the bar pretty high for his fellow Imperial troops: he’s raised $90,000 so far, and the donations are still coming in. He also stopped at hospitals in the cities along his route, visiting children. The money raised will go to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which provides entertainment, education and family activities for sick children.