Newport boy's 'Star Wars' wish comes true at surprise Stormtrooper training camp

Newport boy's 'Star Wars' wish comes true at surprise Stormtrooper training camp
Beckett Williams, 7, center, of Newport Beach gets the red carpet treatment from fellow Scout Troopers during his “Star Wars” Stormtrooper training camp provided by Make-A-Wish on Sunday at Oakley in Foothill Ranch. (Spencer Grant)

Beckett Williams has never let his cystic fibrosis get in the way of his life as a student or an athlete. And on Sunday, he wasn't about to let it interfere with being a "Star Wars" Stormtrooper.

Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire turned the Newport Beach 7-year-old's dream into a reality by inviting him, his family, his classmates and their families to the Foothill Ranch headquarters of sunglasses maker Oakley.


There, Beckett got a surprise when he walked in on Stormtrooper training camp featuring members of the 501st Legion and the Saber Guild, groups of "Star Wars" enthusiasts who wear costumes replicating those in the film series.



For the Record: This article originally stated that only members of the 501st Legion were part of the event. The Saber Guild also participated.


As Beckett, his 9-year-old brother, Brody, their parents and baby sister Brinley arrived by limousine, the family was told Beckett would receive a Stormtrooper outfit.

"He thinks he's getting nothing but a costume," said Stephanie McCormick, chief executive of the regional Make-A-Wish organization, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. "But this is Make-A-Wish. This is magical."

Behind a set of big metal doors in the Oakley lobby, about 200 of Beckett and Brody's classmates and their families waited in a theater for them to walk in.

Kids wore shirts reading "Beckett's Stormtroopers" and held signs that said "We [heart] you, Beck" and "You are our hero." They giggled as their parents gently shushed them while holding their camera phones at the ready.

Outside the building, the Williamses stepped out of the limo to find a red carpet leading to the entrance and Stormtroopers lining the path.

Beckett turned to his mother, Amy, and said, "This looks like Stormtrooper training camp."

As the family walked into the theater, the crowd applauded.

Beckett had no words. He just smiled.

Then he got his Scout Trooper armor, an ensemble similar to Stormtrooper gear but less restrictive.

Beckett, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth, must spend two hours a day in treatment to break up thick mucus in his lungs so he can breathe easily.

"On the outside, you'd think nothing was wrong with him," Amy Williams said. "He's never let it hold him back from doing anything."

For an hour in the morning before school and an hour at night before he goes to sleep, Beckett wears a vibrating vest that, combined with medication, thins and loosens the mucus in his lungs.

He's allowed to show up late to class at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic School in Newport Beach because of his morning treatments, but he gets there on time like his classmates, Williams said.

Amy and TJ Williams' son loves playing sports and watching "Star Wars." He started watching the animated spin-off "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" around age 3.

When he outgrew his first vibrating treatment vest, he put it on the Yoda figure attached to his backpack while he wore his new vest. That way, they could have the treatment together.

And when he plays his "Star Wars" video games, he's always a Stormtrooper, fighting for the Empire.

McCormick said she first learned of Beckett's condition after meeting Amy Williams through the Women Presidents' Organization, a worldwide group of female business owners.

When she heard that Beckett's greatest desire was to be a Stormtrooper, McCormick and volunteer wish granters scouted a location for his training camp and contacted the 501st Legion to bring in Stormtroopers, Scout Troopers, rebels, Ewoks, Darth Vader, R2-D2 and other characters for his surprise gift.

On Sunday, Beckett trained alongside Scout Troopers and Darth Vader by aiming at balloons with a Nerf gun and chasing an Ewok outside to the front of the headquarters. Beckett's classmates followed him out.

The Ewok led him to the final showdown, where Brody emerged in a Han Solo costume and stood by the rebels and R2-D2.

The kids yelled, "No, Brody!" and "Traitor!" as they saw him side with the rebel army.

Beckett was given the choice to join the rebels or stay with the Empire. He decided to stick with his fellow Scout Troopers but walked to his brother and shook his hand. The audience cheered.

"I still can't believe that all of these people are here; it says a lot about Beckett's personality," Amy Williams said. "Just because you're sick doesn't mean you can't do things."

Twitter: @AlexandraChan10