Why this Stormtrooper walked 645 miles to Comic-Con


(NBC News)- It’s not Tatooine — just San Diego — but it was tough to tell the difference at Comic-Con this weekend. In the sea of Stormtroopers, one stood out: Kevin Doyle.

Doyle had walked to Comic-Con in full Stormtrooper armor — a 645-mile trek from the Rancho Obi-Wan museum in northern California. This week, he’s heading back north to finish the journey.

Why?

“I’m walking for my wife, Eileen,” said Doyle, pausing during a walk along the San Diego harbor. Choking up, he added, “It’s just that it’s been a tough road without her.”

Doyle and his wife shared a love for all things “Star Wars.” They bonded over their knowledge of the action figures. Doyle proposed to his wife dressed as Darth Vader. R2-D2 served as the ringbearer at their wedding.

Ellen died two years ago after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Kevin was utterly devastated.

“People say time heals. I don’t know about that,” he said. “I think those things will always be with you.”

But Doyle realized he needed to find a way to share his love for his wife, even as he mourned his loss.

“You can’t just sit as I was and self-destruct. You have to be productive, you have to honor this person with whatever you’re doing,” said Doyle.

That’s why Doyle embarked on his coastal California journey. Along the way, he’s raising money to start a charity to help children with cancer, in honor of Eileen.

His walk has touched the hearts of the people who visited him along the journey and who stopped him at Comic-Con to shake his hand or offer a hug.

“As long as people can find the faith and inspiration to beat this thing, whatever kind of cancer it is – that’s what Eileen would want,” he said.

What would she say about his walk?

Doyle paused to think, then smiled. “She would say, ‘You are such a dork,'” he said.

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