Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams previously announced the "Force for Change" charity contest via a video from the Episode VII set in Abu Dhabi, thereby revealing part of a practical set for the film in the process. Today, Lucasfilm has unveiled another video announcement featuring Abrams, this time from the Episode VII shoot in London - providing an early look at a practically-built X-Wing, as will be featured in the new live-action Star Wars movie installment.
There are already Episode VII set photos online that show an X-Wing set piece under construction, but this is the first sneak peek we've gotten at the finished product - and thus, what the differences are in terms of design, between that class of spaceship in Abrams' movie and those from previous Star Wars films. In addition, Abrams has offered some additional incentive for people to participate in the "Force for Change" program - the chance for the winner to host an early screening of Episode VII in their hometown, ahead of the movie's global theatrical debut.
Here are the details, as outlined in the official press release form Lucasfilm:
All Wings Report In! On the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, Director J.J. Abrams was interrupted by an X-Wing pilot and rogue robot as he announced the chance for fans to win an advance private screening of Star Wars: Episode VII. “We are so grateful for the support that the fans from over 119 countries have shown for Force for Change," said Abrams. "As we close this final week, we’ve added an additional prize that allows the fans the opportunity to see the movie early as a thank you for supporting such a great cause as UNICEF’s innovative, lifesaving work for children.” By contributing at any level by July 25th, participants will be eligible for all prizes including a chance to be in the movie.
You can get a better look at the X-Wing featured alongside Abrams in the new Episode VII set video, from the screenshot below (note: it's already been confirmed that the ship in question was not mistakenly identified as being an X-Wing, by the official Star Wars Twitter account). Those who still want to participate in the "Force for Change" contest, be sure and head on over to the official site.
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For comparison's sake, here is the better-known X-Wing design from the Star Wars universe (prior to Episode VII):
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Rumor has it that one of the Star Wars movie spinoffs that Lucasfilm currently has in the early stages of development is an X-Wing squadron film; in other words, the iconic space vehicle isn't just being included in Episode VII for nostalgic purposes, but because (again, assuming rumors are correct) the spacecraft will be featured heavily in a later installment in the Disney/Lucasfilm Star Wars universe.
Beyond that, it's nice to see the X-Wing has a nice weathered and live-in look to its exterior (see: the chipped paint), which makes the spaceship from a galaxy far, far away feel more real and tangible. Hopefully, most of the practical elements and effects in Episode VII will have a similar worn-out look - one that makes them seem all the more alive and breathing (read: convincing), as a result.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015.