‘Star Wars’: J.J. Abrams announces fan contest for ‘Episode VII’

One lucky “Star Wars” fan will have the chance to travel to a galaxy far, far away to appear in “Episode VII,” J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the classic space opera franchise.

In a video from the set of “Star Wars: Episode VII” in Abu Dhabi, Abrams announced the creation of Star Wars: Force for Change, a new initiative to raise funds and awareness for UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and its programs benefiting children in need.

“Like a lot of you, I’ve been a ‘Star Wars’ fan since I was a kid, so it’s truly a surreal thing to be working on this movie,” Abrams says in the video, which you can watch above. “And we’re so grateful to all the ‘Star Wars’ fans out there for their support and their patience that we would like to invite you to be part of the fun here.”

Fans who donate $10 to the campaign will be entered in a contest to appear in the film, with the winner being flown to London to shoot at Pinewood Studios. The winner will get to go behind the scenes on the “Episode VII” set, meet the cast and be transformed by the makeup and costume teams into a character for the film.


Other rewards for various donation amounts include memorabilia, including posters, T-shirts, concept art and a screenplay signed by Abrams. The contest ends July 18. Disney, which owns Lucasfilm, has committed $1 million to Force for Change.

“Star Wars: Episode VII,” which hits theaters Dec. 18, 2015, is the first installment of a planned trilogy set 30 years after the original films.

Directed by Abrams from a script he wrote with Lawrence Kasdan, the film stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker.