Darth Vader is a tattooed 43-year-old former Marine who owns a gym and is raising funds online for a bone marrow transplant.
The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports that a western New York man legally changed his name last year to match the villain in the "Star Wars" films.
The former Eric Welch of Canandaigua says he grew up in a series of foster homes and didn't have any strong family ties to his name.
The "Star Wars" fan says he chose Darth Vader for his new name because the movie character carries an aura of leadership and toughness.
The fitness trainer tests his own toughness by competing in half-marathons and endurance events. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002 and so far has raised $15,000 on gofundme.com for a bone marrow transplant.