2017 just so happens to be the 40th anniversary of Star Wars and that's a big deal. Disney and Lucasfilm know that and they are treating it as such. That being the case, they decided to drop a nice little Star Wars surprise today on Good Morning America in honor of the 40th anniversary. It may not have been the sneak peak at Star Wars: The Last Jedi many fans were hoping for, but for hardcore Star Wars fans, it's still pretty cool. And it'ss for a good cause.
The Star Wars 8 cast members announced on Good Morning America today the latest Force For Change initiative, which benefits Unicef and Starlight Children's Foundation. The Good Morning America Twitter account released this brief video teasing the announcement and both Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley were on hand to deliver the news. An extended edition of the video soon went live on the official Star Wars site. Lucasfilm has partnered with Omaze, and those who donate will be able to win some pretty awesome Star Wars fan experiences.
Three Star Wars fan experiences will be awarded to one lucky fan each week during this new Force For Change campaign. The first of which is an overnight stay at Skywalker Ranch, that will be followed by a chance to appear in the upcoming but still untitled Han Solo movie and last, but surely not least, a trip to join the cast at the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi later this year. In order to get a shot at winning one of these experiences, fans just have to make a minimum donation of $10 through Omaze, and they will automatically be entered in. There are also various gifts that you will get depending on the size of your donation, including shirts, an original trilogy poster set and even a signed Rogue One print, assuming you have $10,000 lying around. Here is the official press release from Omaze.
"Star Wars: Force For Change in collaboration with Omaze will launch the Star Wars "Past, Present and Future" fundraising campaign to benefit UNICEF and Starlight Children's Foundation. The campaign is themed around the timeless appeal of Star Wars, with experiences inspired by the saga's past, present, and future. Lucky winners will receive prizes, like the chance to appear in the upcoming Han Solo movie, tickets to the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or, an overnight stay at the fabled Skywalker Ranch. Over the course of four weeks between April 11th and May 11th, 2017, fans may enter at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to win these once-in-a-lifetime Star Wars experiences, with each week bringing a new prize to be awarded to a randomly-selected winner. Additionally, at the end of the campaign, one randomly-selected grand prize winner will be awarded all three amazing experiences."
Starlight Children's Foundation is joining Star Wars: Force for Change as the initiative's newest charity beneficiary in 2017. Through a $1 million grant, Star Wars: Force for Change supports the foundation's core programs which are designed to bring comfort and joy and comfort to hospitalized kids through Starlight's network of more than 700 children's hospitals, clinics, camps and other partners across the US. Star Wars: Force for Change and fan donations through this campaign will also provide new Starlight programs, like fun, comfortable Star Wars-themed Starlight Brave Gowns, to tens of thousands of hospitalized children across the country.
Since 2014, Star Wars: Force for Change and UNICEF have joined together to help improve the lives of children around the world. With the support of Star Wars fans, the collaboration has raised more than $9 million to help the world's most vulnerable children. To date, Star Wars: Force for Change has helped UNICEF save the lives of over 30,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition through the distribution of over 4 million packets of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food Packets (RUTF) around the world. Said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
"In a year that we celebrate 40 years of the Star Wars saga, I continue to be inspired by the incredible generosity and charitable efforts of our fans. We are so proud of their tireless dedication to positively impact the lives of children and others around the world, and hope this year's Force For Change campaign will offer a few of those wonderful fans an experience they will never forget."
Star Wars "Past, Present, and Future" Winner Experiences include the Past: Stay at Skywalker Inn, tour of the archives & the Ranch, and a screening of Star Wars: A New Hope. Present: Join the cast and attend the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere and exclusive after party. Future: Visit the set, meet the directors and have the chance to appear in the untitled Han Solo movie. Grand Prize: One winner will receive the Past, Present AND Future prizes! Fans are encouraged to follow the campaign at Omaze.com/StarWars for exclusive updates each week.
As in the know Star Wars fans are well aware, this is not the only Star Wars related surprise we are getting this week. Far from it. With Star Wars Celebration taking place in Orlando, we will finally be getting some Star Wars: The Last Jedi news, among many other things. Are we finally going to figure out what is going on with Benicio Del Toro's character? What the new Star Wars planets really are? There is also going to be a Star Wars 40th anniversary panel to kick off the event on Thursday, which will feature a crazy amount of actors who brought your favorite classic Star Wars characters to life. Rest assured, there is a lot more good stuff coming for Star Wars fans to enjoy this week.
Those of you who were hoping for a trailer or something of that sort this morning need not worry. Those reveals will be coming within in the next few days and, in the meantime, you can have a shot at doing some pretty cool Star Wars related stuff all while helping out a good cause. If you want to get a chance to win one of these three Star Wars experiences and to check out the full details on the prizes, visit Omaze.com/StarWars. You can check out the announcement video for yourself below.