It seems like the newest trend is for hugely anticipated film and television programs to offer fans a chance to win an on-camera role by donating to a good cause—either to fund the project itself or to raise money for charity. Even author George R.R. Martin got into it when he offered Game of Thrones fans the opportunity to win a spot in his upcoming A Song of Ice and Fire novel by donating to The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico. And now, ladies and gentleman, you have the chance to be cast in the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII! (Okay, so it's been around since May, but we're shocked to see that not many people have actually taken advantage of the perks—maybe the below video of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert battling it out to see who is the biggest fan will change that.)
Considering there's so much hype surrounding the return of the Star Wars franchise, helmed by J.J. Abrams, this is a pretty big deal. The lucky winner (plus one friend) will be flown out to London to meet the cast and go behind-the-scenes on the closed set. You'll get to check out the filming process, watch some scenes, and really get a feel for how movies are made. Plus, you get to be in the movie—which knowing the Star Wars universe, could mean some really awesome hair and makeup.
No matter how much money you donate, you will get at least one entry into the contest—but of course the more you give, the more entries you get. Of course, as always, there are a bunch of other incentives to participate, like limited edition posters, t-shirts, and concept art from the film. For $1,000 you can get 100 entries and a limited edition film still series (plus a concept art lithograph), and a Chewbacca bust is given for $2,500. If you've always fancied yourself a Jedi Knight and have $5,000 to fork over, you'll get 500 entries and your very own lightsaber hilt.
Fans who donate $10,000 are awarded with a film script signed by J.J. Abrams (as well as the lightsaber), while $25,000 gets you tickets to the advance preview screening. The biggest prize, aside from the contest, comes with a $50,000 donation and is a private screening of the new film in or near your hometown for you and 20 of your friends. It also gives you 5,000 entries into the contest.
The campaign is hosted on OMAZE and supports the launch of Star Wars: Force for Change (which benefits UNICEF Innovation Labs and Programs). Your money will go towards finding solutions to some of the world's biggest issues facing kids and families all over the world. Some examples of the life-changing projects your contribution will be put towards include:
- Portable, solar-powered learning kits being built in China, Uganda, and Burundi to ensure underprivileged children in these countries have access to relevant, high-quality educational materials.
- Mobile phone application developed in South Sudan and Uganda, and used in the Philippines, that helps reunite children with their families after an emergency.
- A text messaging solution in Zambia that helps families receive infant medical test results from clinics, in half the time, through mobile phones.
The promotion ends July 25; check out OMAZE for more details.