Course of the Force 2013: Team Hondo races to riches for Make-A-Wish!

On Monday morning, Team Hondo took to the streets of Oceanside and Carlsbad, along the north coast of San Diego County, for their segments of the Course of the Force lightsaber relay. Raising nearly $2,200 for Make-A-Wish over the past few weeks, putting us in the top three of all Course of the Force fundraising teams, Team Hondo was ready to run our segments in the lightsaber relay that had started in the Bay Area and was headed to Comic-Con in downtown San Diego. Here is our epic saga! Continue reading “Course of the Force 2013: Team Hondo races to riches for Make-A-Wish!”

Course of the Force: Day 2 recap & tech visits

The official Course of the Force recap video of the second day of the lightsaber relay is now up, hosted by Chris Hardwick, Carrie Keagan and Ashley Eckstein, with plenty of shots of the relay participants in San Francisco from AT&T Park to across the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, before heading down to southern California, the Course of the Force made some stops at some of the different tech giants in the Bay Area, visiting Google and YouTube. Check out more Course of the Force coverage from the first few days in the Bay Area.

Course of the Force kicks off in the Bay Area

Course of the Force, the lightsaber relay from San Francisco to San Diego raising funds for Make-A-Wish, kicked off on Tuesday with a special celebrity run at Skywalker Ranch, then proceeded on Wednesday around San Francisco, ending with a concert and conival. Ashley Eckstein, one of the co-hosts of Course of the Force, was at Skywalker Ranch to help start the relay and covered it for the Official Star Wars Blog.

COTF-2013-AlexisDenisof-SkywalkerRanchOne of the celebrity runners at Skywalker Ranch was Alexis Denisof (Angel, Much Ado About Nothing), who blogged about his experience running in a spandex Threepio suit, while being cheered by his wife Alyson Hannigan and kids. Other VIP runners included Kyle Newman, Chris Colfer, Todd Roy & Adrienne Curry, and Jared Eng. Check out the official Course of the Force Day 1 Recap by Nerdist’s Dan Casey, as well as a plethora of photos of celebrities and members of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion up at the Ranch.

Day 2 started off in San Francisco’s South Beach neighborhood, and the relay continued along the bayfront, ending with a crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge, with 38 relay participants scheduled for the morning race. The Conival at San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza featured a concert by Journey Unauthorized, and had booths ranging from Otter Pops to Qualcomm and State Farm. Chris Hardwick joined co-hosts Carrie Keagan and Ashley Eckstein for the end of day dueling. My favorite costumes: a family dressed as the Avengers!

Today, the Course of the Force takes a little breather as the lightsaber flies to Los Angeles before picking up for the Southern California segments of the relay from Friday to Tuesday as it travels from LA to San Diego and Comic-Con. Check out the daily schedule of relay segments and conivals. And if you’re on the lookout for Team Hondo, you’ll find the three members of Team Hondo in motion on Monday, July 15 in the morning in the Oceanside and Carlsbad segments – I’ll give out exact details on twitter at @jamesjawa. (And there’s still time if you still want to donate to Team Hondo’s fundraising efforts for Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters in California! I’m currently aiming for $1,250 and I am closing in on it.)

And to put you into an even weirder Course of the Force mood, join Billy Dee Williams, Patton Oswalt and Chris Hardwick for some Star Wars Cantina Karaoke:

Nerdist kicks off webseries for Course of the Force

With less than two months to go for the second annual Course of the Force lightsaber relay prior to Comic Con in San Diego, Nerdist Industries has kicked off a multi-part webseries to help promote the relay that supports the Make-A-Wish FoundationCourse-of-the-Force-2013-episode1 In this first episode ‘Lightsaber’s Lost’, Matt Mira goes to Lucasfilm to pick up this year’s lightsaber, only to find that it has been stolen, and has to report in to Chris Hardwick. Also, R2-D2 quotes Office Space and dances like JT.

The 2013 Course of the Force relay will be headed from Skywalker Ranch all the way to San Diego from July 9 to July 16. Will Matt Mira retrieve the missing lightsaber in time? Is he really our only hope? (Hint: There is a another, if Wil Wheaton is available). New webisodes will appear every Tuesday from now until July 2.

In other Course of the Force news, all of the relay spots for the San Francisco and the Pacific Beach to San Diego legs of the relay have been filled, and they are now taking a waitlist for those two sections. Sponsor Otter Pops is giving away a free spot in the relay to someone willing to show their Otter Pop pride!

Doctor Who returns tonight: BBC confirms two stars returning for 50th Anniversary

The second half of Doctor Who’s seventh season begins today with ‘The Bells of Saint John.’ (Naturally, there’s a prequel.) But we knew that, right?

The Who news today is that at least two of the show’s previous stars will be returning for the 50th Anniversary special. And there’s a new face for Who as well: John Hurt. The special begins filming this week

Need more Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman? The Nerdist has you covered! Season two of Chris Hardwick’s show begins tonight (after the premieres of Doctor Who and Orphan Black) with a full set of BBC guests. Not only do we have the Doctor and his new Companion, there’s Dominic Monaghan, and Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany!

And you can tune in all day on BBC America for a Doctor Who marathon – my how things have changed since back then.

Course of the Force is back, this year starting at Skywalker Ranch!

Course-of-the-Force-2012Course of the Force, the lightsaber relay to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, is coming back for its second year, and this time it’s going to be even bigger! Announced by Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist on Jimmy Fallon’s show, this year’s Course of the Force will start all the way at Skywalker Ranch on July 9, north of San Francisco and wind its way down to Comic Con San Diego on July 16.

Registration is now open, with participants carrying the Course of the Force lightsaber (often in costume) for a quarter mile. This year’s fee is $150, which is much lower than last year’s inaugural race fee, but 100% of the proceeds go to several California chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation: Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire, and San Diego. In addition to the leg of the relay for that day, Course of the Force hosts a public ‘Conival’ in the afternoon and evening, with cool bands, giveaways, and more.

Course-of-the-Force-2012-JamesI ran in Course of the Force last year, which was like an Olympic torch dream and Star Wars dream mashed together to come true. It really was a fun experience that helped a good cause and brought fans of all kinds together. Last year, Her Universe’s Ashley Eckstein was a co-host of the event, providing daily video recaps after each day’s leg with Chris Hardwick from the Sail Barge, and Peter Mayhew was also a guest. So who knows who might show up this year!

If you can, come join the fun – either by being a relay runner/walker, coming to a Conival, or simply helping raise funds for Make-A-Wish through Course of the Force! The relay is sponsored by Nerdist Industries, Lucasfilm and Octagon Events. For more info, just visit

The Clone Wars crew takes on Chris Hardwick and Team Nerdist in bowling

The Nerdist Channel has the latest episode of their All-Star Celebrity Bowling show, and it’s the Wolfpack from Star Wars: The Clone Wars taking on Chris Hardwick and his team from Nerdist. Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein, Catherine Taber, and Dee Bradley Baker hope to strike back at host Chris Hardwick. There’s probably more bowling / Star Wars puns to be had here, but I’ll spare you.

Doctor Who is back this Saturday!

Don’t forget that the new series of Doctor Who starts up this Saturday with “Asylum of the Daleks”. The Doctor, Amy and Rory are back, and this time they’re headed to a place that even regular Daleks fear. For those in the US, Doctor Who starts up on BBC America on Saturday at 9pm/8c. Helping get us back into the timey-wimey mood, BBC has been posting a series of fun shorts, called Pond Life, focusing on Mr. and Mrs. Pond since we last saw them.

  • Pond Life – Part 1 – Voice mail from the Doctor
  • Pond Life – Part 2 – A late night visitor
  • Pond Life – Part 3 – A new houseguest
  • Pond Life – Part 4 – Living with the houseguest
  • Pond Life – Part 5 – Things take a turn

What does writer and producer Stephen Moffat have to say about writing his first Dalek episode? RadioTimes has his episode guide.

Also celebrating the start of series 7, Nerdist Channel has a few programs related for their Doctor Who-eekend: For wacky fun, the Doctor Who cast and crew takes on Chris Hardwick, Wil Wheaton and more in Chris Hardwick’s All Star Celebrity Bowling on Friday (preview here – “Bowling is cool”). On Saturday, check out the Doctor Who Premiere Q&A at 10pm/9c, with Chris Hardwick talking with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Executive Producer Caroline Skinner after the premiere.

EDIT: BBC America just put up a new Her Universe Doctor Who shirt for sale, combining the logo and the Amy Pond introduction. Go check it out / buy it!

Running in Course of the Force

So yesterday was Day 4 of Course of the Force, the lightsaber relay from Santa Monica to Comic-Con in San Diego to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, and I was super excited to be able to participate in this fantastic experience as it came through San Diego. When they put out a call for local Star Wars fans to get involved, Caitlin and I signed up and went out on Tuesday morning for our afternoon segments. I was joined by all sorts of great fans, some of which are highlighted in my video above. This was my chance for an Olympic geek dream!

Continue reading “Running in Course of the Force”