Stormtroopers surprise 7-year-old with 3D-printed prosthetic arm

Prosthetic technology has a long way to go before it reaches General Grievous levels of sophistication, but prosthetic limbs are giving people young and old new leases on life every day. Fittingly enough, the latest triumph of prostheses comes with a heartwarming Star Wars twist.

Liam Porter is a 7-year-old boy from Augusta, Ga., who needed a new arm. His last prosthetic limb hadn’t helped him much. Thanks to a 3D-printing enthusiast named John Peterson and an online community for 3D-printing replacement limbs, Porter received and was able to install a brand new prosthetic arm in an Augusta theater on Saturday.

Why a theater? Because when Porter left a movie on Saturday afternoon, a crowd from a galaxy far, far away was waiting to watch Peterson present him with his new arm.

That crowd consisted of stormtroopers, clone troopers, and other members of the 501st Legion’s Georgia Garrison. The 501st is an international Star Wars costuming organization composed of volunteers who attend charity events, visit sick children in hospitals, and provide event security for Star Wars celebrities.

From the sound of the Augusta Chronicle‘s report, Peterson’s gift—which him three months to build and cost around $300—and the 501st’s presence created an experience that young Porter will never forget.

Screengrab via AugustaChronicleTV/YouTube

Eric Geller

Eric Geller

Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.