Trooping for Charity
In July 2009, David Sherman became an official member of the 501st Legion: Vader's Fist, The World's Definitive Imperial Costuming Organization. Since then, he has been appearing throughout Oregon and Washington as an Imperial Stormtrooper and the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader, as a member of Cloud City Garrison.
The goal of the 501st Legion is primarily to raise money for children's charities while promoting the Star Wars Legacy. Locally our main charities include Children's Miracle Network, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, The Make-a-Wish Foundation, among others. In 2010 alone, Cloud City Garrison raised over $10,000 along with countless barrels of food and Toys for Tots.
David was presented with the Cloud City Garrison Trooper of the Year Award for 2010.
Authentic Star Wars Costumes
All members of the 501st Legion build their own costumes either from scratch, or from kits or pieces produced by other members within the Legion. Thanks to Legion-wide quality standards, costumes are expected to be as good or better than the actual screen-used costumes from the films. Many members strive for additional accuracy above and beyond the base standards.
David's costumes have been carefully built using the highest quality parts available, many of which share lineage back to the original screen-used costumes.
David's Darth Vader uniform is patterned after the Return of the Jedi suit and consists of fiberglass helmet and chest armor, and ABS shin armor, all molded from the original costume pieces. All "soft parts" have been custom made to David's measurements and even stitched to appear exactly as seen in the films. The body suit, belt, codpiece and boots are 100% genuine leather, and the satin-lined cape and inner robe are 100% wool. David has custom wired all electronics - each light and button function as seen on screen. Even the lightsaber has been carefully modified, replacing all internal plastic with metal and a super bright Luxeon LED has been installed in the hilt.
An additional feature that sets David apart from most other costumed characters is the ability to speak! Integrated into the suit is an advanced real-time voice modulation computer controlling both pitch shifting and authentic Vader breathing systems. When completely suited up, David is a truly intimidating 6' 7" Dark Lord.
David's Stormtrooper armor is molded from an original Return of the Jedi suit and constructed using photo reference from the Lucasfilm Archives. Special care has been taken to replicate every detail of the originals, down to the exact color matched paint.
As with Vader, David's Stormtrooper gear is fitted with a voice system for authentic speech and Imperial radio chatter.
David has participated in several high profile events:
- On stage with "Weird Al" Yankovic as both Darth Vader (Chehalis, WA) and Stormtrooper (Portland, OR)
- As "Clean Trooper #3" in the short film, Blackstar Warrior, filmed in Portland, OR and directed by Matt Haley
- Interviewed on MSNBC about the 501st Legion and our Charitable Fundraising
- Appeared on "Good Day Oregon" as Darth Vader, live in the FOX 12 Studio to promote the Lego Land Theme Park
- Participated as Darth Vader in a televised Make-a-Wish presentation of a trip to the Jedi Training Academy at Disney World
- Threw out the first pitch as Darth Vader on "Star Wars Night" at the Eugene Emeralds Stadium
- Represented Cloud City Garrison as Darth Vader in receiving the "Best Bad Guys 2010" Award from Portland's Willamette Week