'Star Wars' Stormtrooper takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

The soldiers of Darth Vader's Galactic Empire aren't all bad, as this new video from one Stormtrooper-loving YouTuber proves.

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We always knew Stormtroopers were cold, but here they show their warm side for a good cause. Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

Some big celebrities have taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, including Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Derek Jeter, and George Takei. Now, a new screen star has joined the cause -- a Stormtrooper who says he was nominated by fellow Imperial baddie TK-429.

The new video, posted by YouTube user ScottDW (aka Scott Winn) features great slow-motion filming and definitely has one of the highest production values of the thousands of Ice Bucket Challenge videos posted to date.

If you know what YouTube is, then you likely know about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- a fundraising stunt in which people endure a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Association.

When the campaign started, the thinking was that those given the challenge by someone who'd already completed it could either have ice-cold water dumped over their heads or donate to the group. However, it seems like it's morphed into a viral sensation whose purpose is simply to raise funds, with most people getting doused and donating as well. As of August 25, the ALS Association reports that $79.7 million has been raised since the campaign started, as opposed to $2.5 million during the same time last year.

The money raised will help the association with its work "in research, care services, public education, and public policy -- giving help and hope to those facing the disease," says the group's website.

ALS, or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a disease that leads to the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It inhibits the body's ability to control muscles, sometimes leading to paralysis and eventually to death. The disease is also called Lou Gehrig's Disease, after the New York Yankee baseball player who died from it in 1941. Each year, about 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS, according to the association.

This isn't the first time we've seen one of Winn's Stormtroopers do something cool on YouTube. He's previously had them twerk and had the instigator of this ice bucket video -- TK-429 -- give a tour of his home a la MTV's "Cribs." This is definitely the most altruistic thing the denizens of the Imperial army have ever done, however. Who knew Stormtroopers had so much heart?

In keeping with the theme of the challenge, the Stormtrooper in this video urges Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Owl City (a musical project by singer-songwriter Adam Young) to take the challenge on next, so keep your eyes peeled for a very unhappy Dark Lord, bounty hunter, and, um, singer.

About the author

Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for Crave and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.

 

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