When Star Wars: Episode VII director JJ Abrams announced the Force for Change UNICEF contest earlier this summer, millions of Star Wars fans around the planet started daydreaming about a chance to be in an actual Star Wars film.
For one Colorado man, that dream came true today.
The Star Wars Force for Change program worked like this according to its official site: Fans were asked to donate to UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, and in return they’d be entered in a sweepstakes to win some amazing prizes, including a small role in the new Star Wars: Episode VII film currently being shot in England.
Prizes included a personal thank you note from Star Wars: Episode VII director JJ Abrams, limited edition Star Wars Force for Change t-shirts, limited edition Force for Change posters, a private screening of Star Wars: Episode VII, among others. The grand prize, however, was two plane tickets and a hotel stay in London, VIP passage to the Star Wars: Episode VII set where you get to hang out with JJ Abrams, and of course, a small role in the new film.
D.C. Barnes won that prize earlier today.
JJ Abrams told the world that Barnes was the winner via a very interesting picture on the Star Wars website:
By Abrams’ message, you can see that the contest raised over $5 million for UNICEF innovation labs. Of course, what is also interesting is the hand holding the note. Speculation has arisen that it could be Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand!
When D.C. found out he’d won the contest, he was ecstatic. He first saw Star Wars in the movie theater when he was 5 years old. He said, “There are films I love, and then there’s Star Wars.”
Here’s a video of D.C. Barnes finding out he’d won the Star Wars: Episode VII sweepstakes:
$1 million of the $5 million total donation to UNICEF Innovation Labs was donated by Disney, leaving the other $4 million raised by Star Wars Force for Change contest entries.
UNICEF serves over 191 different countries in the world through country programs and National Committees. Over 88 percent of the organizations are in the field where they are most needed. There are eight regional offices worldwide, and the organization concentrates on things like child survival and development, basic education and gender equality, child protection, policy advocacy and partnerships, and HIV/AIDS research and prevention for children. The Star Wars Force for Change was clearly a great contest for a great cause.
Congratulations to Denver, Colorado’s D.C. Barnes. Look for him in Star Wars: Episode VII.
[Image via StarWars7]