Star Wars invades Children’s Hospital
A white-suited intergalactic ambassador from the Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion shakes hands with one of his fans on Friday, September 28, 2007.
It seemed like a scene out of Area 51. At 1:40 p.m. on Friday, September 28, 2007, a cadre of white-suited space aliens converged on the lawn at the southeast corner of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Was it a full-scale space invasion?
Yes and no. Members of the all-volunteer group calling themselves Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion flew into Loma Linda from a distant galaxy on, of all things, a mission of mercy. They came to visit the patients of Children’s Hospital and spread a little cheer.
No sooner had they arrived than a sizeable group of hospitalized children, members of their families, LLUCH employees, and visitors surrounded the knights in white plastic and besieged them for photographs and attention. For their part, the gregarious stormtroopers obliged.
According to the group’s website, the legion is “a volunteer club formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts and giving them a collective identity within which to operate. The legion’s aims are to celebrate the Star Wars movies through the wearing of costumes, to promote the quality and improvement of costumes and props, and most importantly to contribute to the local community through charity and volunteer work.”
After an hour-long meet and greet outside the front entrance, the stormtroopers and their fans went inside Children’s Hospital for refreshments and to watch reruns of their favorite Star Wars episodes.
Judging from the looks on their faces, the children were glad the intergalactic goodwill ambassadors plotted a course in their direction.
They came from outer space: Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion, an international fan-based organization dedicated to the construction and wearing of screen-accurate replicas of armor and uniforms from the Star Wars films, gathered on the lawn at the southeast corner of LLUCH. Despite the group’s reputation for portraying villains and nefarious characters of the movies, the individuals who visited their fans at Children’s Hospital were generous and good-hearted.