JJ Abrams offers fans a part in Star Wars

Star Wars director JJ Abrams with one of the new creatures in the film.
Star Wars director JJ Abrams with one of the new creatures in the film.

As the hype intensifies around the latest Star Wars movie, director JJ Abrams has announced an opportunity for one lucky person - and a friend - to appear in the saga's next adventure.

The director, who is currently filming in Abu Dhabi, appeared in a specially recorded film from the set.

The competition is part of an initiative called Star Wars: Force For Change that will raise funds and awareness for the United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF) Innovation Labs project to help benefit the world's most vulnerable children.

The video starts with Abrams talking about how excited he is to be making the movie before explaining what the winner can expect to receive.

The competition offers one lucky person - and a friend - the opportunity to visit Pinewood Studios in London and visit the set as Abrams' VIP guests.

They will have the opportunity to meet members of the cast and will be transformed by the film's makeup and costume teams, most likely into alien extras, and will appear in a scene.

As Abrams explains how the competition works, fans get a special glimpse at a new creature who may be appearing in the movie.

The director and the alien exchange puzzled glances before Abrams returns to explaining how the competition works.

It is being run by Omaze.com a charity auction site which allows anyone to enter for just $10.

There are various levels of contribution to the campaign and for each level, participants will receive a special Star Wars-themed item. The deadline to enter is July 18.

Disney, which now owns the iconic film franchise, has committed US$1 million toward the Force For Change initiative and via this exciting competition they hope to raise a lot more.

"The Star Wars fans are some of the most passionate and committed folks around the globe," said Abrams.

"We're thrilled to offer a chance to come behind the scenes as our VIP guests and be in Star Wars: Episode VII.

"We're even more excited that by participating in this campaign, Star Wars fans will be helping children around the world through our collaboration with UNICEF Innovation Labs and projects."

Earlier this week, the United Arab Emirates finally acknowledged that it is standing in for one corner of George Lucas' galaxy far, far away.

Abu Dhabi's government-backed twofour54 media hub confirmed that the next installment of Star Wars is currently filming in the Middle Eastern emirate. It was the first official word from the Gulf nation that filming had begun.

Emirati officials previously had refused to confirm or comment on filming, despite Abram's production company, Bad Robot, tweeting the news last week.

Using the hashtag #dayone, a picture of the first film clapperboard was shared for the internet to go wild about.


Taking the production to Abu Dhabi marks a move away from the original desert locations used in the first six Star Wars installments.

For Episodes I-VI, various spots in Tunisia were used the most to film sandy scenes, including the region of Tatooine, which George Lucas decided to name Luke Skywalker's home planet after.

At the Tunisian government's request, the set for Anakin Skywalker's (Darth Vader) hometown in the Tatooine desert, Mos Espa, still remains in the Sahara desert.

Now in Abu Dhabi, a 'whole world' has reportedly been built in one of its salt lakes, according to local media outlet The National.

A "shuttle-like" craft as well as several jet-powered buggies have also been spotted in the area not to mention a "large tower" and a "big, centuries-old-looking market".

Images obtained by Abu Dhabi's The National show a giant marquee with crew members wheeling bits of set and props in and out ahead of the first day of production.

It will soon move to a studio far, far away as the majority of the movie will be filmed in London, where the newly announced cast first got together to read through the script.

Star Wars Episode VII, opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

- Daily Mail

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