April 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM ET
The Stormtrooper outfit from “Star Wars” may be iconic, but it doesn't seem like a good choice for a long bout of physical exertion.
But Jacob French, a 21-year-old fan of the film franchise, chose the warrior wear as his own suit of armor on his nine-month journey crossing Australia to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
French began in Perth in July 2011 and finished up in Sydney Thursday, walking between 2,000 and 3,000 miles all total.
The UK's Metro newspaper reports that French walked over 10 hours a day from Monday to Friday, losing over 26 pounds, destroying seven pairs of shoes, and, in the process, raising around $100,000 for the charity.
French admitted that dressing like one of Darth Vader’s infamous soldiers presented a bit of a challenge.
“The idea of the Stormtrooper outfit was to create a bit more attention,” French told Australian newspaper The Magnet, Metro reports. “I wore it in a half marathon in Melbourne and had to have it modified for this to make it a bit more flexible. It gets pretty hot -- the helmet is like wearing a bucket on your head.”
In addition to the heavy garb, French pushed a wooden cart around with him containing his clothes and equipment.
According to Yahoo! TV Sunrise, the weather was equally grueling. The Australian news program describes six weeks of rain, hail and thunder during the walk, and reports that French, who camped along the way, was once nearly struck by lightning.
French created a blog, TrooperTrek.com, to encourage donations and chart his progress. The money he raised will go towards the Starlight Foundation’s programs, which help sick children in hospitals across Australia.
For French, it was a labor of love, particularly since the activity itself is not necessarily his thing.
“It might have been easier if I didn’t wear the suit," he told Yahoo! TV. "I don’t actually enjoy walking that much.”
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