A New York state man legally changed his name to Darth Vader. 

Eric Welch, 43, began the transformation last year when he legally changed his name to match everyone's favorite Sith Lord.

The Canandaigua man is a former Marine who grew up in living in eight foster homes and attending fifteen schools. He owns a gym called Allegiant Fitness in Canandaigua.

 I wanted to do something of my own. I had no strong family ties to my name. I wanted a separation from my self and my past.

Vader competes in half-marathons and endurance events, often wearing a mask and carrying an American flag.

He goes on to say that he chose the name Darth Vader because the character carries an aura of leadership and toughness. He is indeed a survivor, having fought leukemia and a serious bone marrow disorder for 13 years. His says his conditions can be managed but will eventually require a bone marrow transplant.

A spokeswoman for the NY Department of Motor Vehicles confirms that Darth Vader is his legal name.


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