J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilms, and Disney teamed up to use the power of Star Wars Fandom to raise funds for UNICEF Innovation Labs. The Star Wars: Force For Change drive recently hit a milestone surpassing $5 million in total funds including $1 million in matching funds from Disney. To celebrate the achievement, J.J. Abrams tweeted out a nice teaser to fans and announced the winner of the grand prize of a VIP plus one guest visit to the Episode VII set in London, which also includes the opportunity to be in the movie in full makeup and costume.Here’s the tweet:
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) August 11, 2014
Now here’s a larger shot:
Hmm, what do you think, is it the hand of a droid, or Luke’s hand, or some new character we’ve never seen?
Looking at the past screen shots above, I’d lean more towards it being a prosthetic hand of Luke or another humanoid character. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Luke had to replace the hand we saw in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Perhaps he removes the skin cover to teach a young Padawan a lesson.
Who is D.C. Barns and why was J.J. saying he’d see him on the set? That’s the big winner. Here’s the official announcement:
With an exciting initiative that offered a chance to win unique rewards and prizes, including a once-in-a-lifetime grand prize, Star Wars: Force for Change raised $4,261,410 USD for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Donations were received via fundraising platform Omaze from citizens of 125 countries and enough money was donated to fund the equivalent of 7-8 new UNICEF Innovation Labs. The grand-prize winner was D.C. Barns of Denver Colorado, who shared during on a donor video chat that the first time he saw Star Wars when it opened in theaters in 1977, when he was only five. “I loved it! … I just couldn’t get it out of my head of 35 years.” D.C. was then asked to share his favorite Star Wars moment. As he began to reply, he was suddenly surprised in his Denver office by members of Star Wars: Force for Change team. Once settled, D.C. exclaimed, “This! This is my new favorite Star Wars moment!”
D.C. will enjoy a trip to London for himself and a guest, a behind-the-scenes visit to the Star Wars set, and will be fitted with a costume and filmed for a scene in Star Wars: Episode Vll.
UNICEF’s current network of 14 Innovation Labs help create sustainable solutions to critical issues facing children around the world in the areas of nutrition, water, health, and education. The funds raised through Star Wars: Force for Change will impact the lives of children around the world, through projects like MobiStation, a portable, solar-powered educational kit to ensure children have access to quality learning anywhere, and Rapid FTR (Family Tracing and Reunification), a mobile phone application that helps reunite separated and unaccompanied children with their families in natural disasters.
Disney committed US $1 million to support the launch of Star Wars: Force for Change. Star Wars continues to inspire generations of dreamers and doers to use their creativity to accomplish great things. Star Wars and Lucasfilm were built on the belief that in uniting creativity with innovation, you can make the impossible possible.
Visit StarWars.com/ForceForChange to learn more about this charitable initiative and the work of UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and programs.
Here’s the video of winner D.C Barns finding out he won the Grand Prize:
That must be an incredible feeling, knowing that you will forever be a part of your favorite franchise. I wonder who will get that coveted guest pass to go with him? We’re not sure if he’s married, has children, or if might take a long time Star Wars buddy. Although I’d love to win that prize, picking my guest would not be fun. It’s like having a second Super Bowl ticket, who do you take with you that won’t upset everyone else?
Don’t give up your hopes of appearing in a Star Wars movie though, I’m sure they will do another charity drive for each of the new Star Wars movies.