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A look inside the helmet

Sunday, August 19th, 2012 | Posted by

Marcus Wessels prepares to take a break from duties as a Star Wars stormtrooper during the Petaluma Hobby Expo 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

For the past three years, Marcus Wessels has led a double life.

Most days, the Larkfield resident is a husband, father and master auto diesel mechanic at Autoworld in Petaluma. And then there are his Stormtrooper days.

Wessels hasn’t always been a Star Wars nut — he was only 6 when the movie came out, after all. He’s a car nut who raced stock cars until he blew up the engine and couldn’t afford to replace it. Then he spotted a costumed Stormtrooper at an auto club event and thought, “This is a hobby I can afford.”

These days, 41-year-old Wessels climbs into his Star Wars costume whenever the mood strikes him for a day of walking, mingling and mugging for the camera.

As a member of the Golden Gate Garrison of the 501st Legion, a national club of Star Wars costumers, he marches in parades, entertains at Lucas Films events, works the crowd at AT&T Park on Star Wars Night and has even been called on to escort a groom down the aisle. And like other club members, he donates his fees to charity.

“I’m blown away by how much fun we have,” Wessels said. “It’s just crazy.”

For booking details, visit goldengategarrison.com.

  • Chris

    “Vader’s Fist” not ‘First.’

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Ann Hutchinson is our Santa Rosa correspondent.
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