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Darth Vader officially a marriage celebrant in NZ

Newshub logoNewshub 29/06/2017 Newshub staff

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He may be from a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away, but Darth Vader lives in Christchurch - and he could be officiating a wedding near you.

David Britten runs the not-for-profit 40-strong Dark Side Entertainers professional cosplay group. He owns the legendary Star Wars character's costume, and he's just been officially made a registered marriage celebrant.

"This morning I received an email from the Registrar General of Internal Affairs," he says on the Dark Side Entertainers Facebook page.

"My application for appointment as an Independent Marriage Celebrant has been… APPROVED!!!!!!!!!"

On Thursday, Mr Britten spoke to Newshub about how it all came together.

"Two years ago I got hold of a Darth Vader costume and since then I've started up a group called Dark Side Entertainers. It's a professional cosplay group with about 40 people in the group, and we go around helping out at charity events," he says.

"In the last year we did about 70 events around the region, visiting kiddies in hospitals and terminally ill children in hospital and doing birthday parties. This was the next step. As well as doing traditional ceremonies I wanted to do something a bit different."

The Dark Lord of the Sith is proving to be a popular choice with those looking for something a bit different on their special day.

"I've got three couples that have approached me wanting Lord Vader to oversee their weddings and renewal ceremonies," says Mr Britten.

"In the next Census there's going to be a lot of Jedi. There a lot of young people taking up the Jedi belief system - and I thought, who better to marry them than the Dark Lord himself?"

So what makes Mr Britten want to dress up as Darth Vader?

"I was obsessed with the film when it came out in 1977. I used to run around the backyard with a black mask and a black sheet," he says.

"I've always been obsessed with the character. A few years ago I got the opportunity to buy the costume and I thought 'I could do this'."

But his joining the dark side isn't just about having fun. Last year, Mr Britten and his team from Dark Side donated 3722 hours of their time to charity.

"I was never interested in doing this five years ago, but I just had an epiphany where I want to use the costume to do as much good as I can in society. There's so much misery around, I just wanted to bring some light into these children's life," he says.

"It seems like the pull is still here with the character. When I turn up to kid's parties, they all want to get high-fives with Darth Vader."

Mr Britten encourages anyone wanting an unforgettable occasion to get in touch - particularly those who like Star Wars more than your average bride or groom.

"This is a chance for people to have a wedding they'll remember for years to come," he says.

"It's just a bit of fun on the wedding day. Instead of turning up in a traditional suit, I turn up in a different kind of suit."

"Instead of turning up in a traditional suit, I turn up in a different kind of suit." © David Britten "Instead of turning up in a traditional suit, I turn up in a different kind of suit."

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