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09/15/11 10:00 AM ET

Force for good: Star Wars Night a hit

Baseball helps to assist Stand Up To Cancer's worthy cause

There are away games, and then there are "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" games. You will find both of them this month around Major League Baseball.

In celebration of this month's release of "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" on Blu-ray, nearly half of the 30 clubs scheduled a Star Wars Night in September as a way to "Use the Force for Good" and raise funds for Stand Up To Cancer.

Lucasfilm, MLB, Stand Up To Cancer, eBay and celebrities came together to make it happen. The Giants, Tigers and Mets were the first clubs to host their events, and next up are the Dodgers, Braves and Athletics on Friday.

"Lucasfilm joining with eBay, Major League Baseball and a wonderful group of actors is an amazing force for good being brought to bear in Stand Up To Cancer's fight against this disease, and we are profoundly grateful," SU2C co-founder Sue Schwartz said. "With one in two men and one in three women diagnosed in their lifetimes, cancer affects us all. SU2C's mission is to persuade each and every person to support the scientists working to end cancer, and this initiative gives legions of 'Star Wars' fans fun and easy ways to do that."

"It's the perfect mixture: Baseball, Lucas and 'Star Wars.' You can't get any better than that," said Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, who owns an authentic Darth Vader costume and is considered baseball's resident expert on the topic. "That's like a utopia for me. Obviously, it's two fantastic institutions getting together and using the synergies they both had, and using that platform for good. That's 'Star Wars,' basically."

The special events offer "Star Wars" themed ticket packages with a portion of proceeds benefitting SU2C. Most packages include appearances by the movie franchise's costumed characters, VIP fan photo ops, giveaways and the "Star Wars" Stand Up To Cancer exclusive T-shirts.

Since its launch, Stand Up To Cancer has grown significantly with support from players, fans and all 30 MLB clubs. SU2C raises funds to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives, and it has grown significantly with support from players, fans and all 30 MLB clubs. MLB was a founding donor to Stand Up To Cancer in 2008, and has donated more than $30 million since its inception.

At Dodger Stadium, it actually will be their third annual Star Wars Night -- and it will be bigger than ever. The club noted that it makes for some amazing ballpark music -- for those "scoring" along. They invited their fans to a special intergalactic edition of Autograph Alley, with appearances by R2-D2, Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda and many more.

"We are thrilled to be using the launch of 'Star Wars: The Complete Saga' on Blu-ray as a call to action for our fans to Use the Force for Good," said Kayleen Walters, senior director of marketing at Lucasfilm. "We are happy to use the power of 'Star Wars' to support this noble cause."

The SU2C campaign launched on Thursday with a video featuring celebrity "Star Wars" enthusiasts encouraging fans to "Use the Force for Good" and join Lucasfilm in donating. SU2C ambassadors Aziz Ansari, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Jaime King, Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Emma Stone -- along with "Star Wars" alum Samuel L. Jackson -- will each participate as they recreate classic "Star Wars" scenes to raise awareness for cancer research. The all-star video tribute appears on the "Star Wars" YouTube channel.

Also, eBay is conducting a week-long auction for unique and special "Star Wars" items. Included is a "Star Wars" edition 2012 Volkswagen Passat and a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- dinner with prominent Bay Area filmmakers George Lucas, Chris Columbus, Francis Ford Coppola, Philip Kaufman and John Lasseter. All charity auctions will begin at 7 p.m. ET Friday.

"Star Wars: The Complete Saga" on Blu-ray unites all six episodes together for the first time in HD and pure digital sound, the best collection to date. It features more than 40 hours of special features, including all-new content created exclusively for this release.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.