‘Star Wars’ fan in NY legally changes name to Darth Vader

People dressed as stormtroopers and Darth Vader walk on the red carpet upon arrival at the European premiere of the film 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens ' in London, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015.
People dressed as stormtroopers and Darth Vader walk on the red carpet upon arrival at the European premiere of the film 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens ' in London, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) – Darth Vader is a tattooed 43-year-old former Marine who owns a gym and is raising funds online for a bone marrow transplant.

The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports (http://on.rocne.ws/1QT6KdI) that a western New York man legally changed his name last year to match the villain in the “Star Wars” films.

The former Eric Welch, of Canandaigua, says he grew up in foster homes and didn’t have strong family ties to his name.

The “Star Wars” fan says he chose Darth Vader for his new name because the character carries an aura of leadership and toughness.

He tests his own toughness by competing in half-marathons and endurance events. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Motor Vehicles confirms that Darth Vader is his legal name.

Information from: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, http://www.democratandchronicle.com

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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