Charity, Christmas, and Star Wars came together last weekend with the aim of making some lucky Velez-Malaga children feel like they were in a galaxy far, far away.
Hundreds of families flocked to the historic quarter of Velez-Malaga, perhaps looking like they were ready to see an Easter Procession or a Christmas Parade, but the figures who marched the streets were not wise men or holy women, but rather the imposing figures of storm troopers and the dark overlord, Darth Vader himself.
The parade was a thrill for Star Wars lovers as they got to see some of their favourite characters come to life, but it had the added benefit of helping out some of the more disadvantaged families in the area by serving as a toy drive.
The troops in the parade were part of the group the 501st Legion, an international volunteer organisation that aims to support local communities by dressing up as villains from the Star Wars universe. The initiative had been so successful in other parts of Spain that Velez- Malaga council members decided to bring it to town.
The imperial march started at 12pm in the Plaza de Las Carmelitas and then headed off in the direction of the Camino de Malaga and the headquarters of the Esperanza Assocation, a local volunteer organisation. Then on the way back to the plaza, children had the opportunity to pose and photograph themselves with the troops, while also handing over toys as donations.
After collecting the gifts, 501st Legion members gave them to volunteers from the Red Cross and the Esperanza Assocation, who will distribute them to families in need in the Velez-Malaga area.
It seems that the force for giving is strong in Velez- Malaga.