J.J. Abrams tells you how to get a role in Star Wars Episode VII


J.J. Abrams released the following video from one of the locations of Star Wars Episode VII.  Let’s watch the video, then discuss:

OK, two major points:

1) We have our first look at an alien from the movie.  I guess it’s possible they came up with an entirely unused creature just for this video, but it seems a little elaborate for that.  So we’ve got an Ithorian-like peddler in a desert marketplace, with chicken-like animals in cages on his back.  While most likely just going to be a passing background person in Episode VII, it’s still an interesting look at how things are going.  Plus, as noted over at i09, it’s a return to physical makeup, actors, and puppets rather than everything being computer generated.

It’s a pretty cool looking alien, too.  You could imagine him haggling over prices with a genial spirit, perhaps passing on some wisdom after the deal.  It hearkens back to those days in the cantina when exotic and strange races popped up everywhere.  I think it’s a good first sign that we’ll see more of the spirit of the original trilogy in this movie.  Of course, that’s a lot to read into a two-second appearance, but we have 575 days until the movie comes out and every little detail is going to be parsed.

2) The meat of the video, though, is about Force For Change, a brand-new initiative that will benefit UNICEF’s Innovation Labs.  The money that is raised will go to these labs as they try tackling some of the world’s biggest problems.  It’s a wonderful idea to tap the excitement and interest in this movie to try to do some good in the process.

However, oftentimes to get people to part with their money, you need a hook.  Episode VII is the biggest hook imaginable.  For just $10, you can register for a chance to win a trip to the London set, to meet the cast and crew and see how the movie is made.  Plus, and this is the thing that suddenly caused millions of fan boys and girls to suddenly squee out in ecstasy, you will be an alien in the film!  Makeup, the whole nine yards, and you could be that background alien that everyone discusses after the movie comes out.

The more you donate, the better your chances.  And while I know my small donation won’t likely win, you’d have to be crazy to think I’m passing this chance up!