Members of the Fighting 501st Legion donated blood at the Robina Blood Donor Bank last weekend.
Members of the Fighting 501st Legion donated blood at the Robina Blood Donor Bank last weekend. Supplied

Troopers storm blood bank

STORMTROOPERS are the epitome of evil but seven from the dark side regularly save lives.

Adam Lochowicz and 10 other members of the 501st legion – a global Star Wars costuming group – visited the Robina Blood Donor Centre last weekend.

Darth Vader, storm troopers, a sand trooper and other evil characters from Star Wars descended on the Robina blood bank to give blood.

“There were six blood donations and I gave a plasma donation for the first time,” Mr Lochowicz said.

“Most had donated before but there was one new one who almost passed out.”

Mr Lochowicz said the 501st legion was the only costuming group sanctioned by George Lucas.

“To join members must have a movie accurate costume or suit of armour,” he said.

“There are strict guidelines where we can’t act inappropriately or we will be forced to leave the garrison.

“We mostly visit kids who are sick and raise money for charity.”

Mr Lochowicz said he gave a regular blood donation at the Southport blood bank recently and asked if he could bring some storm trooper friends to the Robina bank for a mass donation.

“There were 11 walk-in donations because we were there so it turned out well,” he said.

He said the group was planning for a national day to be held on May 4 each year for blood donations.

“It would be good to have a national day where all storm troopers in Australia went out in force and donated blood on the same day.”

The legion started in America when a Star Wars fan made a movie-accurate suit of armour and was asked to visit a child’s birthday party in character.

“He became more popular and started visiting other birthday parties and hospitals for charity,” he said.

Mr Lochowicz said as interest across America grew, squads and garrisons were formed to keep track of members.

“There are now about 4000 members worldwide and Australia has about 200,” he said.

Mr Lochowicz said he found the 501st legion online about eight years ago and made a movie-accurate sand trooper costume to join the Queensland squad.

When he is not doing good from the other side, Mr Lochowicz said he worked full time as Dreamworld’s Captain Feathersword character.

He said he will also play a monster character in the upcoming Narnia movie and will do filming later this month.

Any budding storm trooper group members should visit www.501tag.com and look for the link to the Red Back Squad in Queensland.



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