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The Force is strong in Wiltshire!

Melksham.com was invited along to the Odeon in Bath last night and while we were there we had the opportunity to meet a remarkable bunch of guys who have dedicated hundreds of hours of their time in the pursuit of recreating some of our favourite characters from the Star Wars franchise.

Meet Wiltshire locals, Stoo Collins (Shoretrooper), John Gallagher (First Order Stormtrooper), Stuart Brand (Bounty Hunter), Andy Single (Sandtrooper) Adam Brooks (Stormtrooper), Shane hunter (Jedi Master) and Paul Felski – (R2-D2).

When discussing the work that goes into creating the outfits Stoo Collins said ‘mine took around 600 hours (to create) over a 14 month period. I could have done it quicker though, but was concentrating on screen accurate details as well as learning on the job.’

So why do it? Well, having seen the huge smiles on children’s faces as they met their favourite Star Wars characters it was clear to us why some might choose to do this, but there is a sense of a greater goal that is shared by not just this group of cosplayers but the greater Star Wars community.

‘It’s all voluntary, we don’t get paid to do it. We raise money for a few charities, and will continue to raise money for more as time goes on. We’re all huge Star Wars fans, and want to give people that wow factor of seeing Star Wars characters in the flesh.’

Charities include Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Bath Cancer Care and The Bath Cancer Unit Support.

During our visit we heard numerous people approach the group, one man said ‘I’d love to do this, but I can’t’ –Stoo Collins (Shoretrooper), breaking character for a moment said ‘You CAN!’.

Stoo tells us ‘There are many cosplay groups around, the best way to start it to pick something you’re interested in, and search for worldwide and national groups who do the genre, then you get to know makers of kits and people who are in local groups to join with. Facebook groups are popular, but traditional forums still exist for a lot of cosplay.’

To find out more about the group and their charitable activities, check out their website http://www.mkgarrison.co.uk/

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