J.J. Abrams Shows Off An X-Wing, Offers Chance To Host Episode VII Screening

Lock s-foils in attack position.

By Brent McKnight | Updated

A few months back, J.J. Abrams released a video from the set of Star War: Episode VII, using the platform to announce a Star Wars: Force For Change, a charity to raise funds for the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICIEF). Not only did this offer fans to do something that can potentially help millions of kids around the globe, it revealed some of the cool practical special effects from the movie, and offered them the chance of a lifetime, to actually be in the movie. Well Abrams is back at it, releasing new Force For Change video, providing one more behind-the-scenes look at the film, and offering another one of a kind opportunity for fans.

Force For Change has already been an incredible success. In the first 24-hours, they raise more than a million dollars for UNICEF’s Innovation Labs, a series of 14 ventures with an aim to develop sustainable solutions to many of the most pressing issues faced by children around the world, like health, nutrition, water, and education.

In the video, Abrams breaks down some of the programs that have already benefited from Force For Change. There are things like MobiStation, which is a portable, solar-powered learning center designed to ensure that kids have access to education no matter where they are; and a mobile phone app created to help reunite children with their families when they get separated by natural disasters.

You can continue to donate until July 25, and just in case winning a shot at being in Star Wars: Episode VII isn’t enough to get you to open your wallet and give, they’re now offering a new incentive, the chance to host one of the first preview screenings of the movie. As Abrams says in the video, you and “20 of your closest friends and family” will get your very own private showing before the movie hits theaters on December 18, 2015. That’s not a half-bad prize for all of the Star Wars fanatics out there.

Star Wars Episode VIIAbrams last Force For Change video gave fans their first glimpse at some of the puppet effects that he will use in Episode VII in the form of that adorable, little-old-man-looking figure in the background. This offering also shows you something else, this awesome, scuffed-up, full-sized X-Wing Fighter. A pilot even shows up and shoos the director out of the way, and a droid almost runs over his toes.

Not only is the way they reveal this prop totally awesome—the camera gradually pulls back from a close up on Abrams’ face until you have a full view of the iconic spacecraft—but, like the last video, this is a sly, subtle way to assure fans that they’re not just going to see a bunch of green screen and CGI. That’s a big concern as many of us are still a little gun-shy after George Lucas’ prequel. This is a nice way to pat fans on the head and say, “don’t worry, little buddy, we’re listening to you.”

Looking at this craft, a number of questions come to mind. It’s beat all to hell, and considering what we heard yesterday about potential plot details—which seem to include Luke Skywalker going into hiding for 30 years after Return of the Jedi—you have to wonder who this belongs to. Luke’s X-Wing traditionally has red highlights, while this one has blue, but if you’re in hiding, we all know that the first thing you do is change the paint job on your ride. And if he’s keeping a low profile, he probably doesn’t have much time for routine maintenance and upkeep. I’m admittedly reaching quite a bit here, and this probably doesn’t have anything to do with Luke Skywalker, but either way, this is a cool piece of the film.

This is the way.

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