After Lucasfilm's Force for Change charity initiative saw tremendous success in 2015 (with more than $10 million raised total), the studio had every incentive to bring it back in 2016. For the past month, they've been working with CrowdRise on a new campaign, raising funds for four great causes. As was the case last year, donors were entered for a chance to win fun Star Wars prizes, such as a stormtrooper helmet autographed by the cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and a signed Sphero BB-8. Things will come to a close on May the 4th (Star Wars Day), meaning that there's time for one last push to raise as much as possible.
Those who have been following Force for Change know that the bonus challenges have been a key element of the campaign since the beginning. Setting financial goals (first four to $500, top donor, etc.), those who participated in these were eligible to receive major prizes like lunch at Lucasfilm. With things winding down, they seem to have saved the best one for last: a chance to meet Mark Hamill at this year's Star Wars Celebration.
In a new video posted on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (watch it above), Hamill himself shares the details for the final Force for Change bonus challenge. The top fundraiser for the week from April 26 - May 4, 2016 will receive two tickets to Star Wars Celebration in London, where the winner will be able to take part in an activity of their choice with Hamill. Always a humorous one, the actor jokes that as long as it's "legal and within the boundaries of good taste" he's up for just about anything.
The opportunity to spend time with Luke Skywalker will in all likelihood encourage more fans to give to Force for Change, especially with the promise of attending Celebration 2016. Now, with Star Wars films back in the forefront of popular culture, the event is one moviegoers carefully watch, as reveals about upcoming projects could be shared. For instance, last year's Celebration was where viewers first learned details about the new Force Awakens characters and were treated to the second Episode VII teaser trailer - the one capped off by Han Solo's "Chewie, we're home" line. With Rogue One marketing starting to heat up, there could be a new preview for the first spinoff; and with Hamill in attendance, there's always the chance for a Star Wars: Episode VIII update.
As of this writing, the latest Force for Change initiative has raised $299,488, including matched funds by the campaign itself. They're still short of their ultimate goal, but that money will be of great help to the supported organizations, and this will hardly be the last time Force for Change takes place. The program has made a tremendous impact on the world since it first started, so those who didn't participate this time around (or didn't win a prize) can take solace in the fact that there will be more chances in the near future.
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.
Source: Star Wars YouTube Channel