Sporting an authentic, handmade Star Wars Stormtrooper costume, an NAU employee is heading to the dark side to do good.
Will Rogers, a printing equipment operator at Printing Services, is part of the 501st Legion, also known as “Vader’s First,” a costuming organization that spreads the magic of Star Wars at charity events worldwide through its authentic-looking costumes.
Rogers dresses up as a Stormtrooper and participates in a variety of volunteer activities, from marching in parades and visiting children at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to raising money for cancer.
“Volunteering is something I think everyone should do,” Rogers said. “Last weekend I participated in an MS walk. My wife was diagnosed with MS, and I think it’s a great cause to get in there and try to help.”
Rogers has wanted to dress up since he was a child and saw someone wearing a Darth Vader costume.
“I thought it would be nice to do that someday,” Rogers said. “I always enjoyed Star Wars as a kid, and then got into costume making.”
Rogers is a member of Dune Sea Garrison, the local chapter of 501st Legion. The Dune Sea Garrison has about 60 members throughout Arizona.
“Unofficially, I’ve been volunteering for 20 years by myself,” Rogers said. “I just recently joined this club and got my costume approved. Hopefully, now I can do a lot more and recruit more members.”