Hype builds following new Star Wars trailer

By: Ashton Newton
Staff Writer

The theatrical trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was released on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 with advance tickets going on sale immediately after the release.

I watched the trailer about fifteen times that night, picking through every little detail I could find. I was not alone in doing so; the trailer got 128 million views the first day.

People took their reactions to Twitter; @elmayimbe tweeted, “My pops took me to see the original trilogy in theaters. This time I’m going to take him to see #TheForceAwakens.”

Several large cinema chains who hadn’t fully prepared for such a great influx of fans buying advanced tickets, saw their websites crash soon after the trailer release.

Alamo Drafthouse theater group CEO Tim League apologized, saying the release is “the single biggest simultaneous surge for movie tickets our industry has ever seen.” IMAX alone grossed at $8.6 million with presale tickets. Someone in Philadelphia even took his ticket to eBay, selling it for $1000.

There were those less excited about the new trailer, though.

The hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII began trending on social media not long after the trailer hit the web. The hashtag was used by people saying that the new Star Wars is “anti-white propaganda” for having an African American as the lead character.

The boycott was later revealed to have begun as a joke, but the sheer volume of tweets could indicate that some have begun to take it seriously.

The majority of the use the hashtag got was people reacting to the appallingly racist reason that others were citing as motivation to boycott the movie, including comedian Patton Oswalt who took this opportunity to mock the boycotters.

JJ Abrams himself responded, saying “We cannot wait to share the trailer with you tonight. We don’t care if you’re white, black, brown, Jawa, Wookie, Jedi, or Sith. I just hope you like it!”

In China, Disney had an event tied to the trailer release. 500 Stormtroopers gathered on the Great Wall of China and handed out lightsabers and other souvenirs to fans that came.

The event was aimed at increasing the fan base for Star Wars in China, which hasn’t been as widely celebrated and watched as it has been in America, so the country is largely unfamiliar with the franchise.

Disney is pushing for greater Star Wars popularity in China because it is currently the world’s second largest film market.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is shaping up to be one of the most popular new movie releases of all time.

Fandango already released first day ticket sales, stating that they were 700% higher than the previous record holder, and that’s even with their website crashing during the sales.

The next installment of the Star Wars series is looking like it’s going to break some big box office records.