THEIR resolve is unwavering – their mission unchallenged. Yet this small contingent of the Galactic Empire has no interest in dominating our Milky Way.

You do not need a Jedi to tell you that these are the troopers you are looking for. Their mission is to aid those in need on Planet Earth.

Founded six years ago, Bournemouth-based Dorset Troopers is a Star Wars- themed group dedicated to helping others. They may not possess the power of The Force but their compassion has helped them raise thousands of pounds for local and national charities.

It’s a prime example of how the popular science fiction franchise need not always have a dark side.

Dorset Troopers chairman Terry Welch, suited and booted in the full body armour of a Republic Commando, said: “It’s all voluntary.

“None of our expenses are taken out, everyone travels under their own steam and we buy all the costumes. Everything raised goes to charity.”

Terry and his comrades, two Scout Troopers, a Stormtrooper and even the Sith Lord himself, Darth Vader, pace along Pokesdown high street as if it is an everyday occurrence.

Some intrigued residents and shoppers pose for photographs while motorists slow down to take a second look.

Their costumes are so impressive the group looks like they have stepped from a Star Wars movie set.

But, after removing his helmet, Terry Welch is unmasked as a kind-hearted man with a passion for Star Wars and making people smile.

He said: “I wasn’t a big Star Wars fan before – some of the Stormtroopers are mad for it. They only bought their suits to put on a mannequin in the lounge. The guy who does Vader is not a big Star Wars fan – another has got a disabled little girl and wants to gives something back for her treatment.”

Over the years Dorset Troopers have boosted the coffers of numerous causes including Julia’s House children’s hospice, the PDSA, Teenage Cancer Trust and the NSPCC.

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