'The Force Awakens' Star Wars fans, crashing online ticket sales

Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:01am EDT
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Star Wars" fans were given the longest look yet at the upcoming "The Force Awakens" film on Monday, in an action-packed trailer which became the top trending topic on Twitter and sparked a rush of bookings which crashed a U.S. online ticket seller.

The two-and-a-half minute trailer, which debuted during halftime of ESPN's National Football League game, quickly attracted more than 17,000 tweets per minute, according to Twitter. It was viewed on YouTube more than 220,000 times within the first 20 minutes.

Tickets for the film's U.S. release on Dec. 18 went on pre-sale at the same time as the trailer, with U.S. ticket seller Fandango crashing temporarily.

The trailer, which featured franchise veterans Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher alongside a cast of newcomers, kicked off with lead character Rey (Daisy Ridley) as a scavenger presumed to be the daughter of Princess Leia (Fisher) and Han Solo (Ford).

Fisher makes her trailer debut as Leia, along with the character's trademark hair buns, as she is embraced by Han Solo. Leia is heard saying "The Force, it's calling to you. Just let it in." Notably missing was Mark Hamill, who reprised his role as Luke Skywalker but is yet to be seen in character.

The trailer for the film, directed by J.J. Abrams, provided the vast scope the new film will be taking and the challenges that its leading characters will face.

Finn (John Boyega), a Stormtrooper on the run, says "I was raised to do one thing, but I've got nothing to fight for," and is later seen battling villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Kylo Ren is shown alongside the charred mask of Darth Vader, saying "Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started."   Continued...

 
Cosplayers, dressed up as characters from "Star Wars", wave in front of an All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner JA873A named the "R2-D2 ANA JET" during a fan flight event at Haneda airport October 17, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino