Star Wars fans celebrate May the 4th by doing some good from the dark side

May the fourth be with you! A group of Star Wars fans is using the dark side to help B.C. charities.

Costuming group uses authentic replicas for charitable events

May the 4th is an especially exciting time for Star Wars fan Terry Chui. (Margaret Gallagher)

May the 4th (be with you) has become an unofficial Star Wars holiday for fans of the films. For some, it's an opportunity to give back, from the dark side.

Star Wars mega-fan Terry Chui is one of 7,000 members of the Star Wars official costuming organization. Officially, he's the commander of outer rim garrison of the 501st legion; the group that dresses up as characters from the dark side — the evil characters from the films.

"Initially it was just something fun to do and it just grew from there. We thought maybe we can do something more with this," Chui said.

The organization exists in 60 countries with a mandate to contribute to charitable causes.

"In B.C. we've worked with charities such as make a wish foundation, BC Children's Hospital, and Canuck Place Hospice. We call ourselves bad guys doing good."

Just a few of the authentic Star Wars gear in Terry Chui's collection (Margaret Gallagher)

Chui and his colleagues dress up in one of the many storm trooper outfits they own to make appearances at such events.      

He says even George Lucas — better known by members as The Maker — is aware of the organization and its altruism.

The hype surrounding the popular film series has reached a fever-pitch this year, with the newest film set to be released on December 18th.

"I remember going to watch Star Wars when I was six years old and it was such an eye opening experience. It really sort of changed the course of my life and I've always been a huge fan," Chui said.

To hear more, click the audio labelled: May the 4th brings out the best in Star Wars fans.