VACAVILLE (CBS13) – May 4th is a well-known and celebrated day for those who love all things Star Wars, but this year is different for some who celebrate the legendary saga.
What may seem like a long time ago in a town not too far, far, far, Ira Keeler has become one with strength; design a darling costume in the Star Wars franchise.
READ MORE: ‘Unbearable’ political stunt at shutdown of California recall campaign
“As one of the main drivers of the current aesthetic, as we call him the Motorcycle Scout, 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 loved what he was doing. Golden Gate Garrison member Kris Yalung said.
Keeler, who lived in Vacaville, gave the stormtroopers in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” an iconic Imperial look as a member of Industrial Light and Magic.
Sadly, Keeler’s light waned due to a long illness and he passed away last month. His family want Keeler to be appropriately honored in more than one way.
“They are asking if any of our Motorcycle Scout members could stand as a guard of honor at their memorial and funeral,” Resurreccion said.
Members of the Golden Gate Garrison, a Bay Area Star Wars cosplay group who made Keeler an honorary member, paid homage not to the empire but to Keeler’s legacy.
READ MORE: Man hit and killed by suspected drunk driver just after leaving Alcoholics Anonymous meeting
“It’s our way of giving back to one of those Star Wars luminaries who made the movies real for us,” Resurreccion said.
Resurreccion told CBS13 when he met Keeler that he was a humble, jovial man.
Those who put on the uniform of the enemies of Star Wars came to celebrate one of their heroes.
“His older brother walks up to each of the biker scouts and says, ‘Thank you’. And you could tell his eyes were looking up, ”Yalung said. “I have to admit I was trying not to cry in my helmet. Thank goodness my face was not showing.
This May 4 is without an important member who gave life to part of the Imperial Empire. 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. For us, Ira will always be with us, ”Resurreccion said.
Keeler’s work in the film industry included much more than Star Wars. He worked on visual effects for the “The Back To The Future” franchise, the “Jurassic Park” films and two of the “Indiana Jones” films.
NO MORE NEWS: Residents worried after barrage of bullets in Sacramento neighborhood