'Darth Vader is the guy for the job': Star Wars themed election signs popping up on Toronto-area lawns

If your choices in the upcoming federal election have you pining for candidates from a galaxy far, far away, there may be a new hope on the horizon.

Rick Di Lorenzo, a councillor from the town of Milton, is creating cheeky election lawn signs, featuring characters from Star Wars and Harry Potter, as a fundraiser for local charities. 

With candidates like Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi, and featuring slogans like “Together we can rule the galaxy” and “Seriously it’s not a trap,” this campaign is meant to be more light-hearted than its federal inspiration.

“It's been very positive and like 99 per cent of people are saying it’s hilarious,” Di Lorenzo told CTV News Toronto. “Some people took the signs, because they're saying in this election they can’t support either candidate, so they’re going to put this sign out instead.”

Di Lorenzo, who is accepting orders through his Facebook page, says donations to any Milton-based charity shall be honoured, but he’s encouraging people to support the Milton District Hospital Foundation. 

“I had some personal experiences with the hospital with my two sons, Kevin and Ryan. Kevin was born with Kawasaki disease, and Ryan had jaundice. Most people don't realize local hospitals, although the operating costs are funded by the provincial government, any equipment is funded by local sponsorships, fundraisers and donations. I wanted to make sure my own hospital had better equipment.”

Selling lawn signs may qualify as literal grassroots fundraising, but small scale operations can still have an impact. 

Andrea Cayer, a spokesperson with the Milton District Hospital Foundation, says COVID-19 has curtailed the hospital’s efforts to raise money. The inability to hold large-scale galas and indoor events has seen the hospital’s sponsorship intake shrink nearly 10 per cent since the pandemic began. 

“Virtually no (provincial) funding is provided for equipment or technology purchases, from ultrasound machines to MRI IV poles and beds,” Cayer told CTV News Toronto. 

“Everything helps, so it's been really nice every morning to see all the donations coming in that are supporting Rick. And it truly all adds up, you know, a little bit from everybody helps us reach our goals.”

Peter Loeppky jumped at the chance to put a Darth Vader sign on his lawn, in support of the Townsend Smith Foundation, which is raising money to build a hospice in Halton Region. 

“This is a great way to give back to the community,” says Loeppky, who, like most Canadians seems split on his choices in the upcoming (real) election.

“I'm not really convinced that anybody's going to get the job done properly, so I thought this would be more fun than just supporting nobody.”