Course of the Force kicks off in Santa Monica

Saturday was the first day of the inaugural Course of the Force lightsaber relay, helping to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while celebrating geekery on its way from Santa Monica to San Diego and Comic-Con. Ready for your “Awww..” moment? Skip to 11:45 in the video above to see the last runner of the day – the king of fast, in his adorable Artoo costume!

The kick-off conival had its moments of fun, with Peter Mayhew and members of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion helping to provide atmosphere at the Santa Monica Pier. Leading off the relay was host Chris Hardwick and a group of Make-A-Wish kids. Check out more costumed fun in the Southern California gray, thanks to Lesley Farquhar / Equinox Photography for sharing her photos.

Sunday will continue the relay from Redondo Beach to Huntington Beach, where there will be another Course of the Force conival at the HB pier (4pm to 9pm), including free performances by The Spazmatics at 6pm, and Dan Finnerty & The Dan Band at 8pm. The relay journey continues on Tuesday and Wednesday, going from Oceanside to Pacific Beach to downtown San Diego and Comic-Con!

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