'Star Wars' villains pay special visit to South Bay hospital

In a galaxy not so far, far away, the youngest patients at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara had some special visitors Friday. Some of the villains from the dark side in "Star Wars" arrived on a mission, much to the delight of the children at the hospital.

The dark side descended on the South Bay facility as Stormtroopers, biker scouts and even an Imperial officer invaded the Kaiser Permanente pediatric unit.

"We tried bringing the good guys along, but it seems they only want the bad guys," said Diana Wolf Torres of the 501st Legion of the Golden Gate Garrison.

Fortunately, this was a friendly mission by this fan group that takes its Star Wars seriously. Their costumes are screen accurate.

"It's worth it for us when we see the smiles on these kid's faces," said Torres. "Then we know we got it exactly right."

Just ask Tyler Decourcey. He says he can identify all the characters, but told KTVU he is partial to the Stormtroopers.

"Because they have strong guns," said Tyler.

Tyler is battling a rare tumor and can use all the firepower he can get. His father Mike Decourcey says having some Star Wars baddies on your side can't hurt.

"You're here stuck in the hospital room for a long day," said Tyler’s father. "Being able to get up and see something cool is definitely a fantastic break from the day."

And with many kids staying here for days, even weeks, an imperial fight can be a great distraction from their own battles.

"You get to see that joy and that laughter and those moments of pure happiness, it means the world," said child life specialist Wendy Celaya.

There were plenty of high fives and gifts to go around, even though there wasn’t a Jedi in sight.

"Our slogan is bad guys doing good, and we seem to be doing very well with that," said Torres.

The Golden Gate Garrison has 150 active members. They'll do more than 100 charitable events this year.

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