By Zsarlene B. Chua Reporter

DUE to the film franchise’s massive popularity (and the seventh film’s well-timed holiday release), it seems that the Philippines will be celebrating a Star Wars Christmas this year. Globe Telecom, Inc. has announced that, aside from transforming its flagship stores into veritable Star Wars hubs, the communications giant will also be offering exclusive offers and services related to the film franchise.

“We’re transforming… not only the Gen3 [stores]; our existing stores will also be Star Wars-themed too as well,” Daniel James Horan, senior advisor for Globe’s consumer business, told BusinessWorld during the Nov. 4 launch at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.

Mr. Horan described the transformations as “huge”; it will take Globe a week — and a couple millions (though he did not divulge the exact cost) — to do it. The new stores will be up during the Star Wars: The Force Awakens run, which begins Dec. 17, until the New Year.

Gen3 stores are located in SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, and Greenbelt 3 in Metro Manila; Limketkai Mall in Cagayan de Oro; and Ayala Center Cebu.

“All the stores will also be getting really cool Star Wars merchandise, like the BB-8 will be available in all the Gen3 stores. That’s probably one of the hardest things to get,” Mr. Horan said. He added that the Gen3 stores in Greenbelt, Megamall, and Cebu will “probably” have the most number of the roly-poly droids for sale.

Created by the American robotics company Sphero, the toy version of the droid can be controlled via an iOS or Android app, obey voice commands, and even go on autopilot when it keeps track of the obstacles it hits.

Because of Globe and Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia’s multi-year partnership, which was announced this past May, Globe now has access to various exclusive merchandise, including Star Wars chargers, powerbanks, and connectors, among others.

Besides the face-lifted stores, Globe will also be giving away movie tickets for exclusive screenings as well as contests giving away Star Wars-related merchandise to subscribers.

“We have more than 10,000 movie tickets. It’ll be super hard to get the tickets in the week of the release… Globe customers will be the first to see it in the Philippines,” Mr. Horan said.

The company will also be throwing a secret Star Wars-themed party, with details to be announced on its social media accounts.

“We won’t tell you where it is or when it is; you just have to wait on social media [for announcements],” Mr. Horan said.

During the launch, Globe also previewed one of its holiday commercials, which told the story of an OFW dad making it in time to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens with his family — especially his daughter, also a fan of the franchise.

Mr. Horan said that the video will be uploaded to YouTube a week after the launch, or over this weekend.

In the same vein, mall giant SM will also be celebrating a “Star Wars Galactic Christmas.” It announced in September that one of the opening salvos of its own partnership with Disney Southeast Asia is celebrating the holidays with “life-size figurines of characters from the movie, interactive games, and official merchandise from the SM Store and Toy Kingdom,” according to a company press release.