Luis Monteagudo Jr.
You’ve seen them at Padres games or charity events, the faceless storm troopers and other characters from the “Star Wars” universe that sometimes pop up in San Diego.
Behind those elaborate costumes are a group of die hard “Star Wars” fans who live in San Diego and love to put their fan passion to good use.
Members of “Star Wars” costuming groups gathered at Comic-Con Friday to talk about the good work they do and share their stories.
Many of them are fans who had always loved to build models as children and graduated to bigger projects.
Eric Gryn, a member of the Droid Builders club, spent five years and thousands of dollars building a working, life-size R2-D2. He likes to take his droid to visit sick children in hospitals and to charity events and loves to see the smiles on kids faces when they encounter his droid.
“That’s why I do it,” said Gryn, as his R2-D2 stood next to him with its lights flashing.
Although there are several clubs in San Diego, many work together on charity events.
“We’re all volunteer organizations,” said Marcus Holt, a member of the Rebel Legion. “Volunteer and charity work is the backbone of this organization.”
Some club members are teachers; some are former or active duty military who enjoy the camaraderie of the groups. All of them, however, are “Star Wars” fans who love to get share their passion with others.
“We bring smiles to kids and adults,” said Mark Kinsey. “It’s surprising to see how many adults are excited to see us.”
Luis Monteagudo Jr. is a freelance writer and pop culture enthusiast who has attended Comic-Con for more than 20 years. He has written for The San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today and numerous other publications.
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