There is news today out of the "Star Wars" camp in the form of a video from director J.J. Abrams, but it isn't an update on the making of the movie.  Instead, it's a solicitation for donations with a potentially enticing offer – fans who donate to a new "Force for Change" initiative will have a chance to appear in the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode VII."

The press release accompanying the video states that Force for Change is "dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world's biggest problems."  There will, seemingly, be multiple campaigns as a part of Force for Change, with the first one beginning today.  Fans can donate at a website and the goal currently is to "raise funds and awareness for the United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF) Innovation Labs and its innovative programs that are benefiting the world's most vulnerable children. "

As for that whole chance to appear in the new movie, as with Kickstarter campaigns or donations to your local PBS/NPR affiliate, different contribution levels result in a variety of thank you gifts.  These gifts range from private advance screenings of the new movie in your hometown ($50,000) to being named as a founding member of Force for Change ($10), with a whole bunch of things in between.  Fans who make a $10 contribution are also entered into the grand prize which includes airfare and accommodations to London for one winner and a guest, behind-the-scenes access on the closed set of "Star Wars: Episode VII" as VIP guests of J.J. Abrams, the opportunity to meet members of the cast, and to be transformed by makeup and costume teams into a "Star Wars" character and filmed for a scene in "Star Wars: Episode VII."

Check out Abrams' video explanation, visit the Force for Change donation site to see all the gifts, and get those contributions ready.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" will be coming to your local theater from a galaxy far, far away on December 18, 2015.