Relive the Highlights of Course of the Force, Day 8!

July 17, 2013

Course of the Force may have come to a close last night on the rooftop of San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel, but now you can relive the epic finale from Pacific Beach to San Diego in this handy dandy recap video courtesy of the Nerdist Channel. Our costumed runners brought their A-game yesterday as everyone from Punk Rock Vader to Lobot to an awfully familiar-looking miming Obi-Wan Kenobi. Join hosts Chris Hardwick, Ashley Eckstein, Carrie Keagan and Alison Haislip as they bring this year’s intergalactically awesome journey to a close.

Remember to keep the Course of the Force experience going during San Diego Comic-Con by stopping by our space at the Chuck Jones Gallery. You can also stay in the loop with our Qualcomm-powered Course of the Force app (iOS /Android) and online on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. May the Force be with you always and come see us at Comic-Con!

Course of the Force, Day 8: Pacific Beach to San Diego

July 17, 2013

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All good things must come to an end, including an epic Star Wars lightsaber charity relay race like Course of the Force. Yesterday marked our final leg of the Death Star-sized, statewide race and fans showed up in droves to cheer on our runners, show off their killer cosplay and party with R2-D2 and the Spazmatics under the San Diego moonlight.  If they’d only been shorter and hairier, it would have made for a dead ringer of the Endor celebration scenes in Return of the Jedi.  With everything from a punk rock Darth Vader to dancing Stormtroopers to a homemade Course of the Force opening crawl outfit, the creativity was off the charts. It made us at Course of the Force feel like one in a million.

The event packed in plenty of star power as Wilmer Valderrama joined hosts Chris Hardwick, Ashley Eckstein, Alison Haislip, Carrie Keagan and Alex Albrecht to wrap up the day’s events on the rooftop of San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel. People get awfully excited when they see the Sail Barge roll into town, but San Diego is already in Comic-Con mode, so its arrival seemed a little extra special as gathered crowds cheered on the procession and our brave Padawan runners. Although this was the last official day of the race, you can stop by the Chuck Jones Gallery (232 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101) during Comic-Con to get the Course of the Force experience and watch even more exclusive video content on the Nerdist Channel.

Highlights

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 5.26.28 PM- Everyone from Punk Rock Vader to a hand-knit Twilek were on hand to help us bid adieu to Pacific Beach.

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- Jackson from Make-a-Wish shows off some serious lightsaber skills before running his leg.

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- Alison Haislip was exactly the droid we were looking for as the Course of the Force host donned her R2-D2 finery to run the lightsaber.

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- That’s the best Wilmer Valderrama cosplay we’ve ever seen! Wait a minute – that’s actually him. Our celebrity runner carried the lightsaber past the San Diego Convention Center before handing it off to Jose, one of our Make-a-Wish runners.

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- There ain’t no party like a Course of the Force party cause a Course of the Force party don’t stop!

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via Wilmer Valderrama

- Our fabulous hosts, celebrity guests and all the incredible young Jedi Knights of Make-a-Wish gathered together to celebrate another Course of the Force well done and listen to some killer tunes under the setting sun.

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- Wilmer helped cap off the evening’s events with a lightsaber battle against a young Jedi. As you can see, our Padawan handily defeated the bathrobe-clad bounty hunter.

For more highlights, check out this awesome Course of the Force write-up on Wired. You can still get tons of awesome Course of the Force content on the official Qualcomm-powered app (iOS/Android) or by following us on Twitter (#CourseoftheForce), Instagram and Facebook. Thank you to all who came out for a truly wonderful year. Your enthusiasm and commitment to a great cause like Make-a-Wish is infectious, admirable and made the event an experience to remember. May the Force be with you always and we’ll see you next year.

Stop By the Chuck Jones Gallery During Comic-Con!

July 16, 2013

Much like Luke Skywalker ventured to Dagobah to seek out the wisdom of Master Yoda, you, dear readers, should seek out Course of the Force at the Chuck Jones Gallery during San Diego Comic-Con to enhance your experience with awesome artwork, space age technology from Samsung, and more Force-fueled fun than you can shake a Gaffi stick at. Don’t take our word for it – our resident protocol droid Matt Mira takes you inside the space to give you a taste of what you’ll be in for at this year’s Comic-Con.

Luke may have switched off his targeting computer, but all you need to stay on target is the address: 232 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101. Stay in the loop with the official Qualcomm-powered Course of the Force app (iOS / Android), follow us on Twitter (#CourseoftheForce), Instagram and Facebook, and then come down and say hi in person. You can even take your picture with Jabba’s Sail Barge! And honestly, isn’t that the whole point of Comic-Con?

Relive the Highlights of Course of the Force, Day 7!

July 16, 2013

Tall Yoda! Mandalorian Mercs! Gorgeous beach views! That’s right – yesterday’s Course of the Force segment from Oceanside to Pacific Beach had all of that and more. Tons of fans came out in droves to watch our costumed runners carry the official lightsaber along the beautiful California coastline. There’s nothing quite like heading to the beach and looking up to see a couple of Droids running with a lightsaber behind a giant Sail Barge. Couldn’t make it? Don’t worry! Now you can relive the excitement in a brand new recap video hosted by Alex Albrecht, Ashley Eckstein and our Sail Barge-embedded field reporter Alison Haislip on the Nerdist Channel.

Want even more up-to-the minute updates? No Bothans need die to bring you this information; rather, you can simply download the Qualcomm-powered Course of the Force app to keep track of the lightsaber’s progress, get all the latest community photos and find out more about your favorite celebrity runners. Join the conversation yourself by following us on Twitter (use #CourseoftheForce), Instagram and Facebook! May the Force be with you always and I’ll see you on the Course

Qualcomm’s Official Course of the Force App Launches on iTunes

July 15, 2013

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What do you do if you can’t find the Droid-enabled device you’re looking for, but still want to get all the latest and greatest updates from Course of the Force? It’s simple really – you download the Qualcomm-powered Course of the Force app for your iOS-enabled device! That’s right – we finally made it back from Tosche Station with the proper power converters to give you insider access via a free app on the iTunes store. Admit it – you have a feeling deep down that you need an app like this in your life. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

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What does this app do exactly? We find your lack of faith disturbing! The free app tracks the real-time location of the official lightsaber, see the latest photos and videos taken by our official Instagram account and snapshots taken by the community, and even follow your favorite celebrity runners! No Bothans died to bring you this information; it’s all powered by Qualcomm and it’s got maps, trivia, and advanced image recognition on allowing you to scan special images for exclusive digital content. You could say that the Force is strong with this app. We just did.

Download the iOS version.

Download the Android version.

And remember – share your photos with the community by using #CourseoftheForce or talk to us online on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! May the Force be with you always and now may it also be in the palm of your hand!

Course of the Force, Day 7: Oceanside to Pacific Beach

July 15, 2013

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“We would be honored if you would join us!” When Darth Vader said it, it was slightly more menacing, but there’s no menace at Course of the Force; the only danger you’re in is from having too much fun, and today’s leg of the relay from Oceansaide, CA to Pacific Beach, CA was no exception. Alison Haislip was back on the Sail Barge as we took the California coast by storm in Star Wars style. Today’s runners brought their A-game – and a surplus of Han Solo costumes – as everyone from Angry Birds Princess Leia to a somersaulting Jedi as fans and families gathered along the Course to cheer on our Padawan runners-turned-Jedi Knights.

The day came to a close with our Make-a-Wish runner, Alexander, returning the official lightsaber to its proper place by R2-D2′s side to end another fantastic day of Force-fueled fun. Ashley Eckstein and Alex Albrecht were the icing on the cake as they wrapped up the day’s events in front of an ocean view that would even impress a regular sourpuss like Emperor Palpatine. But enough exposition – let’s get to today’s highlights!

Highlights

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- Jogging behind a Sail Barge ain’t like dustin’ crops, boys! Fortunately, the Force was strong with these ones.

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- All Hans on deck! These scoundrels most definitely weren’t flying Solo.

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- “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Unless you’re an Angry Bird, in which case anger leads to defeating the Pork Side!

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- These are definitely the droids we’re looking for. Mama C-3PO and Baby R2-D2 were some of the cutest runners on the Course today.

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- Beep boop! Even a droid like R2-D2 has to admire the gorgeous views of Pacific Beach.

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via Twitter’s GnarleyMarlee

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- Thanks to Ford’s official Course of the Force vehicles, we get to ride from San Francisco to San Diego in style…when we’re not on the Sail Barge, that is!

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via Twitter’s TravelingSeas

- This young Padawan runner stood in awe of our awesomely tricked out RVs. Your move, Xzibit.

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- But, in all honesty, there’s nothing that quite compares to traveling by Sail Barge. It’s the transportation of the future…today!

And for another great feature on all the Course of the Force awesomeness, check out this terrific write-up from Collider.com! Stay tuned to the official Course of the Force FacebookTwitter and Instagram feed for live updates and behind the scenes photos and be sure to subscribe to the Nerdist Channel to catch the latest recap videos, interviews and more! Download the Qualcomm-powered official Course of the Force app to stay in the loop like a Bothan spy. Find out how to register for a leg of the race or how you can make a donation to Make-a-Wish. May the Force be with you always and I’ll see you on the Course!

Relive the Highlights of Course of the Force, Day 6!

July 15, 2013

The Sail Barge is making its way from Oceanside to Pacific Beach, but why not pass the time away from the race by watching our Day 6 Recap Video, courtesy of the Nerdist Channel? Yesterday, host Alison Haislip climbed aboard the Sail Barge and made the trek from Huntington Beach down the beautiful California coast all the way to Oceanside, CA where hosts Alex Albrecht and Ashley Eckstein were on hand to wrap up the day’s events. With some seriously epic costumes, including Castle‘s Molly Quinn as Mara Jade Skywalker, the latest on portable HD gaming from Qualcomm, and killer tunes from Thunder Road, the conival was more fun than playing Dejarik with Chewie. Make sure to stick around all the way to the end for a very special surprise and the return of a fan favorite segment.

And just in case one video highlight reel wasn’t enough for you, our partners at Qualcomm put together this Force-fueled montage of their favorite moments from Course of the Force 2013 so far!

Want even more up-to-the minute updates? No Bothans need die to bring you this information; rather, you can simply download the Qualcomm-powered Course of the Force app to keep track of the lightsaber’s progress, get all the latest community photos and find out more about your favorite celebrity runners. Join the conversation yourself by following us on Twitter (use #CourseoftheForce), Instagram and Facebook! May the Force be with you always and I’ll see you on the Course

Course of the Force, Day 6: Huntington Beach to Oceanside

July 14, 2013

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The weather may have been hotter than a supernova on Alderaan, but Course of the Force Day 6 was more fun than Chewbacca at a hair salon (which, in case it isn’t clear, is an awful lot of fun). Alison Haislip made her triumphant return to the Course of the Force team, riding the Sail Barge from Huntington Beach down the coast to Oceanside, CA. Then, at the Oceanside Pier, families, friends and Fetts alike came out in droves to experience a conival by the beach.

To wrap up the day, local band Thunder Road treated us to some of the smoothest jams this side of the Max Rebo Band and hosts Alex Albrecht and Ashley Eckstein climbed aboard the Sail Barge to recap some of the day’s highlights – including a cartwheeling male Princess Leia – and unveil a few surprises of their own. Couldn’t make it out in person? Not a problem – we’ve got your highlights right here!

Highlights

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- You know you’re in for a good time once you see those giant lightsabers out in front.

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- Beep boop! R2-D2 is ready to rock out with Thunder Mountain at the Oceanside Pier.

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Castle‘s Molly Quinn goes deep when it comes to cosplay, busting out a top notch Mara Jade that dazzled the crowd.

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- Not even a famed bounty hunter like Jango Fett is safe from Vadering. It’s the hottest new Sith trend!

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- Like a good Jedi, Team State Farm was there! This family had a total blast on today’s Course.
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- “On a pleasure barge! Jabba’s Pleasure Barge!” It’s always a fun time when our hosts climb aboard the Sail Barge to wrap up the day’s events.

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- This guy may have been running Solo, but his enthusiasm was Hanbelievable!

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- The Sith hits the fan when Molly Quinn tapped into her inner Mara Jade to Vader the living daylights out of Nerdist’s Brian Walton.

Stay tuned to the official Course of the Force FacebookTwitter and Instagram feed for live updates and behind the scenes photos and be sure to subscribe to the Nerdist Channel to catch the latest recap videos, interviews and more! Download the Qualcomm-powered official Course of the Force app to stay in the loop like a Bothan spy. Find out how to register for a leg of the race or how you can make a donation to Make-a-Wish. May the Force be with you always and I’ll see you on the Course!

Relive the Highlights of Course of the Force, Day 5

July 14, 2013

Just when you thought Course of the Force couldn’t get any bigger, it did! Yesterday was our longest leg yet as legions of lightsaber-wielding runners made their way from Santa Monica all the way down to Huntington Beach Pier. Alex Albrecht and Ashley Eckstein were on hand to wrap up the day’s events, crown our Costume of the Day and even do a little Vadering of their own. Meanwhile, the Force was strong with host Shira Lazar who spent the day on and off the Sail Barge, interviewing our awesome runners like Mar, one of our Make-a-Wish runners who has the highest five in the West. With costumes running the gamut from Michael Rooker’s Boba Fett to a Millenium Falcon dress to bikini Tauntauns and more, it was definitely a day to remember, so go ahead and relive the day’s events with a recap video courtesy of the Nerdist Channel.

Want even more up-to-the minute updates? No Bothans need die to bring you this information; rather, you can simply download the Qualcomm-powered Course of the Force app to keep track of the lightsaber’s progress, get all the latest community photos and find out more about your favorite celebrity runners. Join the conversation yourself by following us on Twitter (use #CourseoftheForce), Instagram and Facebook! May the Force be with you always and I’ll see you on the Course

Behind the Saber with Danielle Panabaker

July 14, 2013

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Former Disney Channel star turned horror movie scream queen, starring in films like Friday the 13th, Danielle Panabaker is one seriously talented lady. Did you know she’s also skilled in Star Wars-themed cardiovascular activities for a charitable cause too? Surprise! Ms. Panabaker was one of our delightful celebrity runners who lent some of their considerable star power to our intergalactically awesome relay. Danielle donned her Star Wars finest to help make our Pacific Palisades to Santa Monica leg a resounding success. She made us feel like one in a million, kid. To take you further behind the scenes, I caught up with Danielle to talk about her charitable endeavors, what Star Wars means to her and, of course, who she’d want to play most.

Nerdist: Tell us – how was your leg of the run?

Danielle Panabaker: It was great! Running down the PCH…I think it’s the first time I’ve ever done that. You know, that’s pretty cool.

N: Traffic can be so bad there sometimes you just want to get our of your car and run. 

DP: [laughs] Exactly! I think I was moving faster than some of the other vehicles.

N: The other side was completely stopped…

DP: Standstill!

N: And it wasn’t even the side with the giant Sail Barge! 

DP: Right! So, it was an exciting day on the PCH.

N: How did you prepare for today’s race?

DP: You know, I got excited. I did my research. Got my Star Wars t-shirt…

N: That’s all we can ask for. How did you get involved in Course of the Force?

DP: When it comes to my volunteer work, I tend to lean towards foundations and non-profits specifically geared towards children since I sort of got my start as a child actor. Make-a-Wish Foundation is something that I’m very familiar with, so I was excited to be invited!

N: What is your earliest Star Wars memory?

DP: My earliest memory? Watching it with my dad. It was a movie my dad was really into, so I remember watching the first trilogy with him. I do remember going to see The Phantom Menace in theaters. It might have been the first time I ever saw something in IMAX. With the little racer?

N: The podracer!

DP: Yes! How cool was that?

N: Very. What does Star Wars mean to you? Why do you like it?

DP: It’s this incredible fantasy world with something for everyone. It’s so fun. Different creatures…it’s so original and creative.

N: One last question for you – if you could play any character in the Star Wars universe, who would it be and why?

DP: Maybe Jabba the Hutt? Wait, wait, no…

N: Don’t want to put on a fat suit?

DP: [laughs] No, I don’t. Who am I thinking of? C-3PO! That’s it! Jabba does get to lounge around a lot, but C-3PO is such a great, funny character that I’d have to go with him.

N: Plus, gold is a very flattering color. Thank you so much for your time, Danielle!

DP: Thank you!

Stay tuned for more interviews with our celebrity runners and be sure to download our Qualcomm-powered Course of the Force app for up-to-the-minute updates, photos and more! Follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter (use #CourseoftheForce) to join the conversation. May the Force be with you always and I’ll see you on the Course!