A Richardson man who has had a lifelong love of "Star Wars" and particularly stormtroopers, took to the streets to bring a smile and an important message to his neighbors.
Rob Johnson dressed up as a stormtrooper and patrolled the sidewalks near his home carrying signs reminding people "Good guys wear masks" and "move alone, move alone."
U.S. & World
The stormtrooper shows a sense of humor too, with one sign reading, "Have you seen my droid, TP4U?"
Troopers get lonely too, or realize they don't always hit their targets -- one sign reads "I miss people."
Johnson's post on Facebook has gotten thousands of reactions and shares and hundreds of comments.
Drivers who will get caught at the light at the intersection of Custer Road and West Campbell Road often slow down to take pictures of him, some even get out of their cars and stay a safe distance away to snap a photo of the stormtrooper.
Stormtrooper Patrols Richardson Neighborhood With Coronavirus-Related Messages
So what's the story behind all this? Johnson's favorite thing about "Star Wars" is the stormtrooper. He's loved it since he was a kid.
As an adult, he learned about the 501st Legion, an international "Star Wars" costuming group that's dedicated to creating screen accurate costumes and using them to volunteer in their local communities to bring the magic of "Star Wars" to kids and adults alike.
After a year and a half battle with cancer, Johnson was looking for a way to pay it forward.
"Trooping with the 501st fulfills that, as well as my love for 'Star Wars' and building costumes and dressing up for Halloween."
It took Johnson four months to complete the costume.
501st Legion members visit children’s hospitals and charity events and some even get to participate in Lucasfilm events. Since coronavirus has put that on hold on 501st events "for the foreseeable future," Johnson thought he could still do some good.
"We were doing 'troops' several times a month before this, and I really missed wearing the costume," Johnson said. "I noticed my neighborhood was very active outside so I thought it would be fun to walk around and wave to people, just to put smiles on people's faces."
We'd say he accomplished his mission.