J.J. Abrams is giving fans a first look at “Star Wars: Episode VII” and a chance to win a cameo in the new sci-fi epic — all in the name of charity.
In the new teaser video above, Abrams — speaking from “Episode VII’s” Abu Dhabi set — introduces “Star Wars: Force for Change,” which he describes as a “brand new initiative that’s dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. It’s about helping kids all around the world by supporting UNICEF Innovation Labs and Programs.”
The venture, from Disney and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Bad Robot, will raise funds and awareness for UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and its projects benefiting children in need. Fans who donate a minimum of $10 at the initiative’s Omaze page will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a trip to London to be Abrams’ guest on the Pinewood Studios set of “Episode VII” and shoot a scene for the new film.
Other rewards for fans who donate include limited edition posters; t-shirts; a lightsaber hilt; concept art and film stills from “Episode VII”; and an advanced screening of the movie in your hometown, depending on the amount pledged.
While the teaser video shows little actual detail of the Abu Dhabi set — which is likely doubling for Anakin and Luke Skywalker’s dusty home planet of Tatooine — we do get a glimpse of one fantastical inhabitant, notably presented through the use of makeup and physical effects rather than CGI, which should please fans who criticized the prequel trilogy’s reliance on virtual imagery.
The contest is open until 11:59 p.m. PT on July 18 through Omaze.