On the heels of last year’s one-of-a-kind event, Course of the Force (COTF), the lightsaber run that drew the attention of Star Wars fans around the world, is returning July 9 through 16. Kicking off at the famed Skywalker Ranch, participants will continue the relay run down the coast through San Francisco with several stops along the California coastline before reaching the finish line— arriving just in time for the start of the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International convention.

“Our plan to run at Comic-Con screaming with a lightsaber worked beyond our wildest dreams. People showed up! Lots of them! And we were able to grant more than 1,000 wishes for Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Chris Hardwick, Founder of Nerdist Industries. So,

the sponsors are back at it this year.

Course of the Force has reteamed with the Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters of Greater Bay, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego with 100 percent of all runner registration proceeds benefiting the charity. In 2012, the Make-A-Wish Foundation had a strong presence during the inaugural event, with Make-A-Wish kids participating in the opening and closing ceremonies of COTF and running in the event.

Given the overwhelming response to the 2012 relay, organizers for this year’s event have expanded the course enabling it to cover nearly 500 miles. At the end of event, Course of the Force will be hosting activities at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego during San Diego Comic-Con International from July 18 through 20.

COTF_1This year, participants will be running quarter-mile segments down the California coast, passing off the official Course of the Force lightsaber, and granting wishes for Make-A-Wish children in the process. Runners will be escorted by the official COTF motorcade – a 25-foot-long and 13-foot-tall replica of Jabba’s sail barge from Return of the Jedi.

Registration is now open at www.starwars.com/courseoftheforce. Each relay spot is $150, which includes a customized Hasbro lightsaber, exclusive Course of the Force swag bag and the experience of a lifetime. Runners are encouraged to be creative and wear their best Star Wars gear.

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Full Name of Event: Course of the Force
Sponsors:  Samsung, Qualcomm, Ford, Cinemark, Real D, State Farm, Otter Pops, Virgin America, Hasbro, Rovio
(Angry Birds) and Rubie’s Costumes
Mission: An epic journey through California and a tribute to Star Wars. It is an Olympic torch-styled relay held in advance of the San Diego Comic-Con International and benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Website: www.starwars.com/courseoftheforce
Dates: July 9 – 16
Cost: $150

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Tuesday, July 9 – George Lucas’ famed Skywalker Ranch
Wednesday, July 10 – San Francisco
Friday, July 12 – Pacific Palisades to Santa Monica
Saturday, July 13 – Santa Monica to Huntington Beach
Sunday, July 14 – Oceanside
Monday, July 15 – Oceanside to Pacific Beach
Tuesday, July 16 – Pacific Beach to San Diego