As one of the largest pop culture franchises in history, Star Wars supplies millions of people with some of the best escapist entertainment imaginable, but its impact on society goes well beyond that. Since the galaxy far, far away sports a high-profile, Lucasfilm has used their standing to raise awareness for charitable causes via the Force for Change initiative. The buildup to both The Force Awakens and Rogue One featured contests that gave fans a chance to win a variety of fun prizes, including autographed memorabilia and a trip to Ireland's Skellig Michael Island (site of Episode VII's planet Ahch-to).
Since the studio has found a great deal of success raising money for a plethora of organizations over the last two years, it's hardly surprising that there will be tie-ins for this December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Time will tell what sort of sizable spoils major donors can receive, but in the beginning, Lucasfilm is taking smaller steps. Ahead of next month's Star Wars Celebration, official merchandise has been unveiled, the proceeds of which will be used to benefit Force for Change.
The official Force for Change site revealed a pin and three different t-shirts that will be available for purchase at Orlando's convention. Heroes Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and BB-8 are spotlighted on the products, which makes sense given the Resistance fights to restore hope and freedom in the galaxy. The materials will first be on sale at booth 3463 at Celebration, before becoming available at select Disney Parks locations. Twenty-five percent of each sale will go towards the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. They cannot be bought from the Disney Store or the Shop Disney Parks App. You can see pictures of everything below:
After Celebration, Walt Disney World Resort will sell these items at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and Magic Kingdom Park, while Disneyland Resort will have them at Disneyland Park and Downtown Disney District. They will be available for purchase throughout the summer, so if one's Disney vacation plans prevent attending Celebration, there shall be plenty of opportunities to pick a few of these up and make a difference. Fans at conventions like Celebration are always looking for souvenirs to take home, so it's nice to see Lucasfilm get the Star Wars merchandising machine involved with Force for Change. Obviously, those interested are encouraged to get a shirt or pin soon before supplies run out.
For those who can't make it to Celebration or a Disney park anytime soon, there are still ways to get involved. You can visit the Force for Change website to learn more information and make a pledge to help better the lives of children in need. And as indicated earlier, this is just the start of Lucasfilm's charitable efforts in conjunction with The Last Jedi as anticipation for the sequel heats up over the next several months.
Source: Force for Change
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018