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Stormtroopers gather in Frome in search of ‘The Last Jedi’

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STORMTROOPERS were in search of ‘The Last Jedi’ at Westway Cinema in Frome during the release weekend of the brand new Star Wars film.

Three members of the MK Garrison, John Gallagher, Andy Single and Steve Whitehouse, visited the newly-refurbished cinema in Frome to surprise movie go-ers and fans of the movie franchise with their authentic costumes.

The MK Garrison (MKG) was formed in May 2007 as a  non-profit making Star Wars costuming group, attending a variety of events to raise monies for worthwhile charities. They visit events such as comic cons and travel over the South of England helping to raise money for local and national charities.

The 86 members of the MK Garrison have been travelling around local cinemas in the area including Bath, Trowbridge and Frome, taking pictures and entertaining the crowds.

All members pride themselves upon the accuracy of their costumes

John Gallagher said, “There are a lot of armour builders. My armour came from America but I had to put it together, paint it, sand it.” Steve Whitehouse added, “Sometimes you source one thing from one country and another thing from somewhere else. Basically, if you’re not building it yourself, you’re still compiling it. A lot of this stuff we are wearing is fan-made too! We always look to make the costumes authentic, and also the trooping. You can only have one Darth, one Kylo, we try to be right like that, so we only have one at each event. Stormtroopers are easy, there’s hundreds of them!”

John Gallagher said, “Sometimes we have to break character and take our helmet off, we try not to, but when a kid is crying in front of you, we like to show them that there is actually a person underneath, we don’t want them walking away scared.”

Steve Whitehouse continued, “We have been interacting with people here at Westway, everyone wants a picture with us. We are going to be watching the film this evening, not in costume though – these guys can’t even sit down.

“The minute children and adults see us, their faces just light up, it brings the children out in all of us.

“Trooping is an addiction. I’ve been collecting for 40 years but I have only been trooping since the summer and once you do the first one, it’s addictive!

“One of the reasons I wanted to bring the guys here was to promote Westway. I have been here to see every single Star Wars film since 1977. I’m glad it’s back and revamped, it’s fantastic.”

Owner of Westway cinema, Beryl Scott said, “The stormtroopers are great aren’t they! The cinema has been full for Star Wars, no seats available. We are even fully booked all the way until next week”

If you are interested in having the MK Garrison for an event to help fundraise, then contact them through their Facebook MK Garrison Costumes or visit their website http://mkgarrison .co.uk/

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