By RYAN PAINTER, KUTV
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - For many of us, the Star Wars franchise has been something of a lifesaver. The adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo sparked my imagination as a child and in 1983 "Return of the Jedi" carried 7-year-old me through a particularly difficult summer. If an orphaned farm boy could rise from nothing and change the fate of his galaxy, then maybe I could, too.
In 2014, Lucasfilm and Disney recognized that Star Wars could do more than inspire or provide an emotional escape and established Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable initiative dedicated to improve the lives of children around the world. In just four years, the program has raised more than $16 million for charitable causes.
To celebrate Star Wars Day and the upcoming release of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," Lucasfilm and Star Wars: Force for Change are launching the Roar for Change global challenge in support of UNICEF in their efforts to improve the lives of malnourished children.
Inspired by the sweet harmonies of everyone's favorite Wookiee co-pilot, fans are encouraged to share their version of Chewbacca's roar on social media. For every public post, like or share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that includes #RoarForChange between May 3–25, 2018, Star Wars: Force for Change will donate $1 to UNICEF USA, up to $1 million.
The Roar for Change challenge kicked off Thursday morning with a launch video from the set of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" introduced by director Ron Howard.
Fans can share their roar, throw on a voice-changing Chewbacca mask or create a Dubsmash using the Wookiee's docile tones.
So, grab your friends, family or favorite bipedal beast and make some noise because it's almost summer and "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is only weeks away.
For more information, including special offers at Disney stores, visit ForceForChange.com.