In the months leading up to Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, there have been numerous heartwarming stories related to the film that touch the human spirit. Instances such as Daniel Fleetwood's early Force Awakens screening, actor Peter Mayhew's uplifting letter to a young fan, and the origin of astromech droid R2-KT show how all members of the Star Wars community can come together and make wonderful things happen.
With just days to go until Star Wars 7 finally comes out, a group of fans has started an initiative to use the film's release as a platform to support a great cause. Moviegoers in Los Angeles are already waiting in line for the December 18 premiere, raising money for charity.
On December 5, 2015, people began lining outside Hollywood's historic TCL Chinese Theater as part of an event to raise funds for the Starlight's Children's Foundation (hat tip Polygon). The organization works to improve the life and health of children and their families all around the world. Participants will remain outside the theater until December 18, trying to "recreate the classic line experience," as hundreds of fans gather in anticipation for the year's biggest movie event.
For those who do not live in the Hollywood area but still want to get involved, the lineup event has a charity site for online donations. They have also set up a Twitter page with pictures and additional information. There does not seem to be a set financial goal the group is trying to reach, they just want to help out as much as they can. According to a post from last night (December 8, 2015 as of this writing), there are 128 registered line members earning hours. As awareness for the initiative grows over the next week, that number is sure to grow, providing more money for the charity.
In addition, Lucasfilm continued their omnipresent marketing campaign by unveiling a new character poster (see it above), this one featuring adorable soccer ball robot BB-8. The image appears to be a recreation of a scene from the second teaser trailer, where the droid was peering over a corner of the Millennium Falcon. It's arguably surprising that it took this long for BB-8 to get his own one-sheet. He's been a key part of the advertising, and allegedly plays a vital role in the story. Not much is revealed on the poster, but those who have quickly become enamored with BB-8 will certainly take a liking to it.
One has to wonder just how many more materials Disney has to share prior to the film's release. In the past month, they've released a plethora of television spots and several new images to get fans even more excited. With just over one week to go, and $50 million already made in advanced ticket sales alone, it's safe to say the studio's done all they can do to promote the movie. Now, they can sit back and watch the billions roll in when audiences get a chance to see the movie at last. After all, how much else can Disney show without giving anything away?
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens releases in theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Sources: Polygon, Walt Disney Pictures