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George Lucas is partnering with Nerdist Industries for “Course of the Force,” a 136-mile lightsaber relay beginning July 7 in Santa Monica and ending July 11 at Comic-Con International in San Diego to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It will be officially announced tonight on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
The brainchild of Nerdist’s Peter Levin and Chris Hardwick, Variety reports the Star Wars-themed event will feature 500 participants walking or running quarter-mile legs, passing a Lucasfilm-produced “Course of the Force” lightsaber rather than the traditional torch or baton. Octagon and Machinima are co-producing the relay.
Participants are encouraged to come dressed in their best Star Wars or pop culture-themed running gear — Drew Carey and Jim Gaffigan have already committed to wearing costumes — for a chance to win prizes along the route. The conclusion of the relay in San Diego in the hours before Comic-Con’s Preview Night will be marked by a party and live podcast at the Balboa Theater.
All proceeds, generated through sponsorships, will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For more information, or to register for the relay, visit the “Course of the Force” website.
Lightsaber Run to Debut Leading up to San Diego Comic-Con International
Course of the Force run/walk from Santa Monica to San Diego will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation
SAN FRANCISCO (FEB. 9, 2012) – Star WarsTM fans will have a chance to channel their Force of good-will while raising a lightsaber, an elegant symbol of hope, in an epic journey worthy of the Jedi Knights.
Lucasfilm Ltd., Nerdist Industries, Octagon and Machinima have teamed up to present Course of the Force, an Olympic-style lightsaber relay held July 7-11, where participants will make a journey from Santa Monica to San Diego while benefiting a worthy cause. At quarter-mile markers (much less than 12 parsecs), participants will hand off the official Course of the Force lightsaber to the next runner as they begin their leg of the journey. Course of the Force will take place in the days leading up to the annual San Diego Comic-Con International, July 12-15.
On top of creating an event for Star Wars enthusiasts to celebrate and embrace their love of the Saga, Course of the Force will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the historic lightsaber relay through various promotions and online calls to action.
Participants in the relay are encouraged to come decked out in their best Star Wars or pop culture-themed running gear, not only to look good but also to win prizes. Ancient Jedi Masters carried within backpacks are not required.
“The Course of the Force lightsaber run is a great cause that combines fitness with helping others, principles that aspiring Jedi Knights can embrace. We have long supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and this is a great opportunity to raise funds and awareness while letting Star Wars fans celebrate their favorite saga,” said Kayleen Walters, Sr. Director of Marketing for Lucasfilm.
Giving the event a true fan’s touch, Nerdist Industries’ founder Chris Hardwick and co-hosts will follow the action from the Course of the Force lead vehicle each day, broadcasting live to the Nerdist platform, including its YouTube channel, youtube.com/nerdist. Machinima, the dominant video entertainment network for gamers around the world, will provide extensive coverage and promotion of the event through its multi-channel video network.
As the Course makes its stops along the iconic California coast, Star Wars-themed parties, contests and live Nerdist shows will cap off each day for fans to enjoy. Participants will receive a customized Hasbro Star Wars Ultimate FX lightsaber, along with other gifts celebrating the Force and Comic-Con.
“We aim to build on the excitement leading up to San Diego Comic-Con International, to raise awareness for the wonderful Make-A-Wish Foundation and to ensure that Course of the Force becomes an evergreen part of the pop culture lexicon,” said Nerdist Industries’ principal and Course of the Force creator and executive director Peter Levin. “Partnering with Lucasfilm, Octagon and Machinima creates a trilogy of cachet, profile and execution expertise. As a wise green man might say, ‘succeed we will, for a good cause’.”