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Benton wished to be a Jedi Knight

  • Benton battles Darth Vader at our Evening of Wishes Gala

  • Benton officially honored as a Jedi Knight

  • Jedi training day for Benton at Oakley in Lake Forest

  • Benton practicing his lightsaber skills

  • Benton with his new friend, R2D2

  • Listening to useful advice from his Jedi Master

  • Benton needs to harness the Force to defeat Darth Vader

“ Benton defeats Darth Vader and becomes a Jedi Knight ”

Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far, far away, it is a period of hope, strength and joy for a young Padawan named Benton who has wished to learn the ways of a Jedi. 

Many times, Benton has battled the Dark Side with a lightsaber in a world of fantasy at his house. But it’s been a very real battle for Benton over the last three years as he has been in treatment for leukemia.

“He so enjoys Star Wars and has so many times been a Jedi in our house with his brother,” said Benton’s father, Bill. “I think that the idea of being a Jedi represents escape and the ultimate display of fantasy for him.”

At the Jedi training center, Jedi Masters from across the galaxy assembled to train Benton in the ways of the Force, including the skills and techniques of the lightsaber, the philosophy and methods of the Jedi and a special skill known as a Force Push used to defend oneself against villains and users of the the Dark Side.

“The ability to perform on a large scale what he’s always wanted to do – he didn’t think this was fantasy,” Bill said. “He really thought this was real.”

But if Benton thought his wish was over after that day of training, it was because nobody could imagine what would happen at the 2nd annual Evening of Wishes gala held a week later to benefit Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire. While the audience enjoyed a video of Benton’s wish...

Benton from Chris McKechnie on Vimeo.

...the lights suddenly went out as team of Storm Troopers and Darth Vader himself appeared to take control of the event. Thankfully, Benton and the Jedi Order were there to defend the guests. After an exciting battle, Benton used the Force Push to banish Darth Vader and save the evening. Benton’s parents watched from the audience as he followed the Jedi on stage to be knighted.

“What a healing experience for Benton to see himself as a strong, courageous and skilled warrior – a Jedi,” his mom Patricia shared with Make-A-Wish after the event.

“You brought back a piece of what he lost during his journey, and brought him to a land far, far away where there are no doctors, nurses or needles, and the only limits are those of his imagination.”

Make-A-Wish would like to thank the Saber Guild, 501st Legion and Rebel Legion for their incredible support in making Benton’s wish a reality!

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