The Empire gives back to charities - but Darth Vader needs some wheels!

Andy Cross with his Darth Vader helmet.
Andy Cross with his Darth Vader helmet.

A new group dedicated to linking up Star Wars fans needs a helping hand with transport - but not into space!

The Bedford Garrison has been launched by Clapham man Andy Cross to bring together fans of the films from across the region and to help out with fundraising for local charities.

The 43-year-old has been a fan of the cult films since the age of seven and enjoys the storytelling of George Lucas, the escapism of the movies and the costumes.

Andy, who wears a Darth Vader costume, said: “I decided to get involved in the Bedford River Festival to help fundraise for the Bedford Rotary club and it’s a chance for the fans of the films to meet some Star Wars costumed characters and have their photo taken with them.

“I also fundraise for the Sue Ryder charity as I am in a position to give something back to the local community and hopefully raise awareness of the charity and bring enjoyment to others in the process.”

The group ideally would like a black convertible vehicle to go with the black colouring of the Darth Vader costume - but any colour will be good - to loan for the festival.

Andy is appealing for anyone who may be able to help to drive Vader and his entourage along the route at the River Festival - this year’s event is July 19 and 20.

He added: “As Vader I’d like to travel in the parade in an open top car with other group members around it. The thing is I don’t have the funds available to hire one.”

If you can help Andy email him at or call 07900 156497.