She reportedly made the request after finding out she couldn't leave her body to science as she'd originally planned.
A 78-year-old's final wish to have a "Star Wars"-themed funeral procession is making headlines across publications this week. According to BBC, the late Brenda Morris made her exit from this world in style with Darth Vader and a group of stormtroopers leading a hearse carrying her body. The former chemistry teacher from Redditch, Worcestershire, reportedly requested prior to her death that when the time came, she wanted the workers at the local funeral home to dress up as characters from the iconic franchise. She is said to have made the request after finding out that she couldn't leave her body to science as she'd originally planned.
Darth Vader leads Star Wars funeral procession https://t.co/1rmDuPJIXO— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 22, 2021
Morris, who made a bold attempt at national stardom with a flamboyant performance of Pink's "So What" on the X-Factor in 2010, reportedly made the request because she didn't fancy the traditional slow funeral procession. "She decided when the time came that she wanted us to dress up as Star Wars characters," Mark Thomas, of funeral directors Thomas Brothers and who took the role of Darth Vader at the ceremony, told the Redditch Standard. "I personally knew Brenda. She had such a huge personality and was a big part of the community in Astwood Bank."
Brenda Morris planned to leave her body to science, but couldn’t. Instead the former chemistry teacher, 78, chose to have a ceremony in Redditch, Worcestershire, featuring Darth Vader and stormtroopers from #StarWars— Pixiedust (@PixiedustJtT) October 20, 2021
Credit: Cascade News pic.twitter.com/XjoOobTwQK
"She was an amazing lady," said Thomas. "She touched everybody's hearts within the community and she was at her best when she was singing for [them]. She raised thousands of pounds for the Primrose Hospice." He revealed that they'd purchased the Darth Vader and stormtrooper costumes online for the ceremony. "We bought the costumes through the internet and did a dress rehearsal so we got everything right," he said. "I know it may sound strange, but I watched some clips of Darth Vader just to make sure I got everything right."
En Worcestershire 🇬🇧, Darth Vader y todo el Imperio Galáctico condujeron un coche fúnebre que transportaba a la difunta Brenda Morris, de 78 años, quién pidió en vida que los personajes de #StarWars fuesen quienes la acompañasen en su último viaje . pic.twitter.com/KoCK7TG2tS— Funeraria de Jesús (@FunerariadJesus) October 25, 2021
"The lads stood around the coffin dressed as stormtroopers while I was by the celebrant," Thomas added. "It was quite a spectacle." He also revealed that Morris hadn't wanted the procession to meander through the streets. "On the way down to the crematorium, one of Brenda's wishes was to get there as fast as possible, and with Darth Vader and the stormtroopers in a hearse, driving at the top of the speed limit, we got a fair few stares on the way," he explained. Although they'd tried to keep the funeral under wraps, more than 100 people turned out for the funeral in Redditch to say their farewell.
“Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter.” — Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back— The After Death Action Plan (@Bottom_Drawer) October 22, 2021
It was a Star Wars-themed funeral for 78yo Brenda Morris this week. Funeral director Mark Thomas was Darth Varder. More: https://t.co/UbhdYVe8jy
Write your funeral wishes in The Bottom Drawer Book pic.twitter.com/7WkhhVlxG9
Speaking of the incredible turnout at the funeral, Thomas said it was "amazing" how many people had turned up and that it was a service that would stay in his memory for some time. On Twitter, many were amused and inspired by the flamboyant funeral procession. "Touching to see so much effort go into honoring the final wishes of Brenda Morris who had done a lot of charity," tweeted @fouroaksls. "Fantastic. People should be able to choose what they want," commented Twitter user @JonoMartinK. "That is extraordinary. What a send-off. Rest easy Brenda. May the force be with you always," wrote @Mattthewbells.
October 22, 2021
"Brilliant. May the hearse be with you," tweeted The Yorkshire Post cartoonist, Graeme Bandeira, to which photographer Nick Jones responded: "Obi Gone Kenobi."