Hype surrounds ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ movie release

In less than a month, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the highly anticipated first part of a brand-new trilogy in the eminent space opera franchise, will premiere at theaters across the globe. The North American version is slated for release on Dec. 18. As fans around the country eagerly await an adventure in a galaxy far, far away, hype at the University of Miami is quickly intensifying.

Chemistry professor Marc Knecht is a “Star Wars” enthusiast on campus. “I’m looking forward to seeing where the characters have gone since the last fall of the empire,” Knecht said, referencing the conclusion of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.” “It seems like a massive geopolitical change, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the Jedis come back.”

In October 2015, the official trailer for the film was released online by The Walt Disney Company, garnering a staggering 128 million views within 24 hours. On the same day, the company announced that fans would be able to pre-order their tickets online. Since then, tickets have been selling out at theaters nationwide.

The University of Miami Bookstore has also been taking part in the hype by selling a number of “Star Wars”-related products, including T-shirts, mugs and figurines of characters who will debuting in the upcoming film.

The film is the first in the series to be directed by J.J. Abrams, otherwise known as the director of recent “Star Trek” movies and “Mission: Impossible III.” In the past, production of the “Star Wars” movie franchise was primarily overseen by its creator and founder of the Lucasfilm production company, George Lucas. In 2012, The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm and immediately announced a new sequel trilogy in the “Star Wars” franchise, with J.J. Abrams as the first film’s director.

Fans were left in the dark about casting and plot details until the film’s cast was announced a year later, consisting of John Boyega and Daisy Ridley as the leading protagonists, along with actors Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford reprising their roles as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, respectively, from the original “Star Wars” trilogy. None of the roles of the main characters have been fully divulged, spawning endless theories from devoted fans, some of which may seem more plausible than others.

Lukas Montejo, one of the many University of Miami freshmen who have plans to pre-order tickets for the film, shared a humorous theory.

“I’m looking forward to seeing whether or not the film will debunk the theory about Jar Jar Binks being a Sith Lord,” Montejo said. “I know that there are people who study the whole ‘Star Wars’ universe to come up with these theories, some of which deal with the remnants of the old empire and the return of the Jedi Knights. I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen.”

The excitement of moviegoers is apparent by the number of tickets for the film that have already been sold. According to AMC Theatres, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” sold $6.5 million worth of IMAX tickets on the first day they were available. The film will be shown at several South Florida movie theaters, such as AMC Sunset Place 24 and Cinépolis Coconut Grove. The Walt Disney Company is also overseeing the production of future “Star Wars” films, including two sequels to “The Force Awakens” as well as a number of spin-offs. Details of these films have yet to be revealed.

Featured image courtesy Pixabay user aldobarquin