VACAVILLE, Calif. (KOVR / Meredith) – Tuesday, May 4 was “Star Wars Day,” a day celebrating the Star Wars films with the slogan “May the Fourth Be With You”.
On the same day this year, a man closely linked to the movies surely missed out, but he had a very fitting funeral last week, Star Wars style.
What may seem like a long time ago in a town not too far, far away, Ira Keeler is one with the Force, designing a darling costume in the Star Wars franchise.
Keeler, who lived in Vacaville, Calif., Gave the stormtroopers in Return of the Jedi their iconic Imperial look as a member of Industrial Magic and Light. He also designed other props and ships for Star Wars as well as other franchises such as “Back to the Future”, “Jurassic Park” and “Indiana Jones”.
“He was just very precious and he, you know, really liked what he did,” said Kris Yalung, member of the Golden Gate garrison.
Sadly, Keeler’s light faded after a long illness and he passed away in April. Her family wanted her life to be appropriately honored.
Members of Golden Gate Garrison, a Bay Area Star Wars cosplay group, paid homage not to the Empire but to Keeler’s legacy.
“As one of the main drivers of the current aesthetic, as we call him the Motorcycle Scout, as we know him now, he is a hero among the Motorcycle Scouts,” said Ricky Resurreccion, member of the Golden Gate garrison.
“He was just very precious and he, you know, really liked what he did,” said Kris Yalung, another member.
They portrayed enemy members of the film franchise to celebrate one of their heroes.
“It’s our way of giving back to one of those Star Wars luminaries who made the movies real for us,” Resurreccion said.
This May 4 is without an important member who gave life to part of the Imperial Empire.
“His older brother walks up to each of the biker scouts and says, ‘Thank you’. And you could tell his eyes were going up, “Yalung said.” I have to admit I was trying not to cry in my helmet. Thank goodness my face was not showing. “
But those who cherished and knew Keeler can still feel his strength around them.
“As they say in Star Wars, no one is really gone,” Resurreccion said. “For us, Ira will always be with us.”
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