Lucasfilm Ltd., Nerdist Industries, Octagon and Machinima have conspired to get geeks out into daylight. They are rallying Star Wars fans to join Course of the Force, a charity relay run from Santa Monica to San Diego that replaces the traditional baton with a lightsaber.

The event will take place July 7-11, getting the runners to San Diego just in time for San Diego Comic-Con International, which this year will be held July 12-15.

Although Course of the Force is focused on the relay run, there will be ample other opportunities to participate via various promotions and online calls to action. All proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Participants in the relay are encouraged to come in costume, vying for prizes and adding to the festive atmosphere, while attracting media coverage for this worthy cause. Additionally, they each will receive a customized Hasbro Star Wars Ultimate FX lightsaber, along with other swag celebrating the Force and Comic-Con.

To make sure everyone can share in the fun, Nerdist Industries’ founder and nerd overlord Chris Hardwick, with co-hosts, will be broadcasting to the Nerdist platform live from the Course of the Force lead vehicle each day. Also, video entertainment network Machinima will produce and simulcast exclusive Course of the Force content through its multi-channel video network and will provide promotion for the event.

Runners will pass the official Course of the Force lightsaber to the next participant at quarter-mile markers, and the route will be punctuated with Star Wars-themed parties, contests and live Nerdist shows.

“The Course of the Force lightsaber run is a great cause that combines fitness with helping others, principles that aspiring Jedi Knights can embrace. We have long supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and this is a great opportunity to raise funds and awareness while letting Star Wars fans celebrate their favorite saga,” said Kayleen Walters, senior director of Marketing for Lucasfilm.

Peter Levin, Nerdist Industries’ principal and Course of the Force executive director, said, “We aim to build on the excitement leading up to San Diego Comic-Con International, to raise awareness for the wonderful Make-A-Wish Foundation and to ensure that Course of the Force becomes an evergreen part of the pop culture lexicon. Partnering with Lucasfilm, Octagon and Machinima creates a trilogy of cachet, profile and execution expertise. As a wise green man might say, ‘succeed we will, for a good cause’.”

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