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Storm Trooper brings smiles to New Hope residents

Craig Sanborn dressed up in his authentic Storm Trooper costume and stood at the corner of 42nd and Winnetka Ave. in honor of Star Wars Day.
Credit: Molly Sanborn

NEW HOPE, Minn. — It's not every day you see a Star Wars Storm Trooper walking along Winnetka Avenue in New Hope. If it were up to Craig Sanborn, however, you would.

Sanborn, a Pastor of High School Ministry at Plymouth Covenant Church, is a lifelong Star Wars fan, so when Monday, May 4th rolled around – the unofficial Star Wars holiday – Sanborn had something special planned. 

Sanborn dressed up in his authentic Star Wars Storm Trooper costume, and stood at the corner of 42nd and Winnetka Avenue in New Hope holding a sign that read "May The 4th Be With You (and not the coronavirus)," while wearing a protective mask.

"I've busted it out at my church quite a few times," Sanborn said. "But this was the first time in a while."

With it being May 4th – a play on the popular phrase "May the force be with you," which was introduced the Star Wars series – It was a "no-brainer" for Sanborn to pull out the costume.

Credit: Molly Sanborn

"I always wanted to get an authentic Storm Trooper costume," said Sanborn. "I used the money from my Christmas bonus two years ago to get it.

"My wife (Molly) asked me when I would ever wear it, and I said, 'When wouldn't I wear it?'"

Craig said he remembers waiting in line at a movie theater in Brainerd, Minnesota in the summer of 1977 waiting to see Star Wars: A New Hope, and from that point on, he was hooked.

"I have some pretty fond memories," Craig said.

Someone would have to be pretty passionate to endure what Craig did while wearing the costume.

"It's painful,"he said. "It looks phenomenal but you can't sit. You either lay down or stand up."

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Which made transporting him to and from the corner of Winnetka and 42nd even trickier. Craig had to lay in the back of his minivan while Molly drove.

"If you're going to do it," Craig laughed, "you've got to commit."

And Craig did. Despite it taking two people to put the costume on, and his lack of mobility and all-around comfortability, Craig got exactly what he'd set out for.

"It made people smile," he said.

It couldn't have come at a better time. With the coronavirus pandemic impacting so many lives, even the slightest bit of relief can go a long ways. 

Craig Sanborn sent us these photos via text message. If YOU have a great story, photos or videos to share, text KARE 11 at 763-797-7215!

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