Stormtrooper Vows To Conquer Sydney … For Charity

Back in February, Australian Paul Jacob French announced that he was going to walk from Perth to Sydney to raise $50,000 (Aussie bucks) for the Starlight Foundation, an Australian charity that reaches out to sick and terminally ill children with the hopes of making them a little bit happier. But even better than just your average 6-month stroll, French will be dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper for every step of his journey. So if you live in Australia and you see a stormtrooper walking down the road, don’t panic. Unless he’s in an Imperial AT-AT, in which case you can run like hell.
French has already taken off on his quest, dubbed Troopertrek 2011, to walk more than 5,000 kilometers (approximately 3,100 miles) and if he sticks to his plan to walk 25 miles per day, 5 days per week (weekends off for some R&R, which means ‘roos and Russian Imperial, I assume), he should make it to Sydney by Christmas. Don’t worry about endurance, though. French, whose Star Wars dedication is honed as a member of the 501st Legion, ran a half-marathon in stormtrooper armor almost a year ago.
So far, according to French’s website, his effort has raised $8,016.80. Not too shabby, but these are still not the droids results that we are looking for. After the jump, you can check out French’s mission statement, as well as a gallery of the first week of his Troopertrek.

(Hat tip to the Seattle Post Intelligencer; Images via Daylife.)
From French’s page at Everyday Hero:

In 2011 I aim to walk from Perth to Sydney to raise awareness and money for the Starlight Foundation and because I believe I can do it in Stormtrooper armour. Follow and comment my progress on twitter or facebook by searching for “troopertrek”
Starting in July 2011 I aim to walk from Perth (Western Australia) to Sydney (New South Wales). Over the course of the trek I will cross 4 states and cover approximately 5000km’s in modified stormtrooper armour. The plan for now is to push a lightweight buggy with needed supplies an average distance of 35-40km’s for 5 days a week until the trek is complete.
I am a member of the worldwide “501st Legion”, a volunteer organisation that wears quality star wars outfits for Star Wars related events and as a means to contribute to their local communities through charity work. My involvement with the 501st Legion has been a fantastic experience and I have had plenty of opportunities to put on my suit of armour and entertain the public.
In October 2010 I participated in the RunMelb Half marathon (21kms) in my stormtrooper suit. The suit was restrictive and got quite hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the troopertrek idea. Since the marathon I have started to train regularly for this event and have acquired a much lighter and flexible set of armour that will be trimmed for better movement. I am hoping that by choosing to wear stormtrooper armour I will be able to gather more attention for the cause I am running for and have a bit of a laugh along the way. If there are any social events along the route that you think might benefit from having a stormtrooper attend, let me know!
Jacob French