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As four-year-old Bailey colored in an activity room in the Pediatric Unit for Dignity Health-California Hospital Medical Center, he was suddenly taken aback by the Force that walked into the room: Darth Vader, accompanied by a Stormtrooper and Biker Scout.
“Do you like baseball?” Vader asked a stunned Bailey, who was coloring a picture of a baseball glove. Bailey, in the hospital for a respiratory ailment and asthma, nodded yes. And then he just looked up at the strange group that came to brighten up his day and stared, still too shy to speak.
The appearance of Vader and his Troopers was courtesy of Starlight Children’s Foundation and the 501st Legion, Southern California Garrison, part of an international group known as “The World’s Definitive Imperial Star Wars Costuming Organization,” endorsed and preferred by Lucasfilm Ltd.
Starlight teamed up with the 501st to surprise pediatric patients and celebrate May the 4th, a day honoring all things Star Wars. The date is a pun on the phrase, “May the Force be with you.”