When the Star Wars movie franchise was relaunched, following Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 and the subsequent release of new films (starting with last year’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens), Disney and Lucasfilm also debuted a successful charitable effort, known as Force For Change.
The program has frequently raised huge sums of money for the likes of UNICEF, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the American Red Cross and other charities. The programs have usually involved talent from the Star Wars films, such as when Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill visited a hospital in London last year at Christmastime.
The latest Force For Change campaign follows that pattern. In the video introducing it - implicitly on the set of the currently-filming Star Wars: Episode VIII - Oscar Isaac tells his Star Wars movie character Poe Dameron's loyal droid companion, BB-8 all about the new “Show Your Force” campaign. It encourages Star Wars fans to donate to four charities - the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and UNICEF - and earn the chance to win prizes.
Isaac also tells his robotic costar that the first four people to donate or raise at least $500 are eligible to win a prize pack that includes a model BB-8 from Sphero. Plus, the top fundraiser of the week gets the chance to win an exclusive tour of Lucasfilm in San Francisco, as well as a screening there of their favorite Star Wars movie.
The Force For Change effort is an honorable way to harness the considerable power of Star Wars fandom towards some good causes. And it appears to be working; as of Monday afternoon the current campaign had raised $163,898, including matching funds from the campaign itself, out of a goal of $1 million. Fans can contribute to the Show Your Force effort, or set up fundraisers of their own, by visiting https://www.crowdrise.com/ForceForChange.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.