The writer/director/lover of lens flares just released a video that offers fans the chance to win an onscreen appearance in "Star Wars: Episode VII" for just $10. That donation goes to a new UNICEF campaign called "Star Wars: Force for Change," which is all fine and dandy and tax deductible, but the main attraction is getting a peek at the Abu Dhabi set and one very cool-looking creature that wanders into the frame.
After so very many CGI missteps in past "Star Wars" releases and rejiggerings, getting a peek at this freaky practical effects critter soothes our jangled nerves. It has the old school Jim Henson studio vibe that brought us one of the most venerable Muppet-type gurus in cinematic history, Yoda, with the sort of tiny details that recall "Labyrinth" and "The Dark Crystal." The video itself looks like it was shot in a sort of outdoor bazaar full of aliens and their wares - check that dude in the crazy robe on the right-hand side of the frame. He's definitely up to no good!
Anyway, yes, you can enter to win what sounds like a walk-on in "Star Wars: Episode VII" (and more importantly, some behind-the-scenes action, meet and greets, time in the make-up chair, etc.), but this is a very savvy way to clue fans without, you know, actually cluing us in. For a good cause, of course.
You can enter at Omaze.com/StarWars through July 18.