Disney has announced that its recent "Star Wars Episode VII" charity fundraiser received a whopping $4,261,410 in donations - with fans from all around the world vying for a chance to win a role in the upcoming film. To celebrate, the studio threw in an extra $1M to push the campaign over the $5M mark.
In a Twitter post, director J.J. Abrams thanked fans for their support, while also dropping yet another tantalizing hint for a rumored plot line.
See that robotic hand there? It looks very familiar to the one owned either by Luke Skywalker or Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader). Rumor has it the missing appendage plays a role in enticing some new characters to find its original owner. We'll have to wait until either the first trailer or the movie drops in December 2015 to truly find out.
But back to the raffle: Abrams revealed the lucky winner as D.C. Barns, a Denver, CO native who has been a huge fan of "Star Wars" since the beginning. "I'm definitely a fan, or a geek or a nerd, all of those. I'll own it," he told 7News Denver. Barnes will next fly with a friend to London to receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the "Episode VII" set. He'll then be fitted for a costume and film a scene as an undisclosed character in the movie.
"I'm guessing it will be someone who walks by in the background but that will be totally worth it," he added.
With over a year still to go until the film's release - and anticipation continuing to mount - let's hope Disney and Abrams continue to take advantage of the interest to generate more good for charity. Something tells me the fans won't mind at all.
Check out video of D.C. Barns discovering his winning entry below.
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