Australian Star Wars fan treks around the continent

People around the world like dressing up as the celluloid soldiers in the Star Wars series but only Jacob French has put on the white plastic clobber and walked across Australia.

French, who finished his 5,000-kilometre mission in Sydney yesterday, raised more than 87,000 Australian dollars (R719,000) for a children’s charity over the nine months since he left his hometown of Perth.

“I had this Stormtrooper armour in the cupboard already so I thought if I was going to walk across the country I wanted to give people a bit of a laugh and one of the best ways I had to do that was wearing this,” the 21-year-old told local television.

The outfit, modified for more movement and ventilated for the 40-degree heat, certainly attracted attention. Flies were companions much of the way.

French’s trek took much longer than he planned because so many people stopped him along the road to take photographs.

He had lots of time to think, but still has no hard and fast plans for his life after doing his bit for charity and the image of the Galactic Empire.

The plastic togs helped in finding accommodation along the way. French, who budgeted for just 50 Australian dollars a week in living expenses, was put up for free most nights.

He said he will stick with the Star Wars fan club called the 501st Legion and continue with good works.

“We try to share the awesomeness of how cool our costumes are just by making people laugh and smile and helping out where we can,” he said.