Jacob French went for a walk. A kickass walk across Australia. To raise loads of awareness and money for the Starlight Children foundation he did it dressed up as a Star Wars Stormtrooper. In total he walked a kickass 3,100 miles, lost 26 pounds and went through seven pairs of shoes. And in doing so, he raised more than $100,000 for his chosen charity, the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Troopertrek: a hike across Australia dressed up as Star Wars Stormtrooper

Dressing up as a Star Wars Stormtrooper

French is not a stranger to dressing up as a Star War character as he is a member of the 501st Legion of  Star Wars Stormtroopers — a worldwide group for Star Wars enthusiasts who dress up for charity. This is where his costume inspiration to dress up like Storm Trooper TK-6283 came from.

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But where did he get the idea to walk such a ridiculous distance you might ask…..

How the idea to Walk across Australia came about

“In October 2010 I participated in the RunMelb Half marathon (21kms) in my stormtrooper suit,” French wrote on his blog. “The suit was restrictive and got quite hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the troopertrek idea. Since the marathon I started to train regularly for the walk across Australia and acquired a much lighter and flexible set of armour that was trimmed for better movement. I hoped that by choosing to wear stormtrooper armour I would be able to gather more attention for my cause and have a bit of a laugh along the way.”

And he did indeed have a laugh taking pictures like the ones below along the way

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“However I hate walking, I do anything to get out of it usually, but I was the one with the idea, so I just got to do this to raise money and attention for the Starlight Children Foundation”

Starting the TrooperTrek

And French was right. Once he started the gigantic trek as a Star Wars Stormtrooper in July 2011 media attention got big. He was covered on the Huffingtonpost, many British and Australian newspapers, all of which made raising funds easier.
The attention certainly benefitted the Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization that works to improve the quality of life for children suffering from chronic diseases.

Troopertrek: a hike across Australia dressed up as Star Wars Stormtrooper Troopertrek: a hike across Australia dressed up as Star Wars Stormtrooper

He walked while pushing a 50 -kilogram trolley of supplies and wearing his 10-kilogram suit, which he bought online.  ”It does get very hot,” he said. ”The helmet is not very well ventilated. It’s like wearing a bucket on your head. It’s not very flexible either, so I’m moving pretty slowly. I had to have it specially trimmed to make it less restrictive.

On April 4, 2012 French arrived at his final destination the Sydney Children’s Hospital. He had walked an average of 10 hours a day for 9 months.  But it was all worth it he said as he managed to raise over $100,000 for sick children.

troopertrek12Stomtrooper Jacob French falls in the same league of kickass adventures together with the Guy how Pushed an Empty Wheelchair across Australia, the woman who Ran around the World, and the Guy who ran across Canada dressed up as Superhero the Flash

If you liked these kickasstrips have a look in our Dress Up & Disguise adventure category