NEW YORK –The latest trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” debuted on ESPN during this week’s Monday night football game, perhaps the most anticipated halftime outside of a Super Bowl.
The trailer introduces us once again to Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn, before kicking into high gear with glimpses of Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia, not to mention the evil Kylo Ren, space battles and all we’re used to seeing from the best “Star Wars” movies.
Reaction was immediate on social media (just hours after there was a virtual run on tickets on sites like Fandango.com).
“Rewound and watched that Star Wars trailer like 3 times,” tweeted @KrissiBex.
“So many little moments in that trailer have more life & more “Star Wars” than all of the prequels combined. Dear God…” said someone using the Twitter handle @MysteryCr8tve.
Tim Turi tweeted, “I was going to just hold off on watching the Star Wars trailer like a purist. Then I watched it. And now I’ve got a lump in my throat.”
Like the other “Force Awakens” trailers, fans across the board raved about the trailer, which is sure to be dissected frame by frame in the hours to come.
Savor it as long as you can: it’s your last big look at the movie until December 18, 2015.
Earlier in the day, “Star Wars” fans overwhelmed online ticket sellers Monday in anticipation of the trailer.
The tickets were initially expected to go one sale after the trailer for the new “Force Awakens” film played at half time of Monday Night Football.
However, some fans noticed on social media that sites like Fandango were selling tickets beforehand. Others noted that Fandango had crashed roughly a few minutes into Monday Night’s NFL game.
“I feel a disturbance in the Fandango,” tweeted “Tonight Show” producer Gavin Purcell.
Another ticket retailer site, MovieTickets.com, also went down on Monday night but tweeted that the site was back up but moving “a bit slower than usual.”
“That’s what happens when a nation unites to buy tix for one movie on the same night!” MovieTickets.com tweeted.
Demand to get the first tickets for the film also crashed ticket booking sites when they were released in the U.K. on Monday morning.
“Smart of the NFL to put a whole football game around the Star Wars trailer tonight,” tweeted Time’s deputy Tech editor Alex Fitzpatrick.
This was not the first trailer for the J.J. Abrams film.
The original “teaser” for “Force Awakens” debuted in November 2014 to much fanfare with over 40 million YouTube views in less than three days.
The second teaser, which included our first look at the return of Chewbacca and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, eclipsed 200 million views in roughly a month.
Disney, which acquired Lucasfilm from “Star Wars” creator George Lucas in 2012 for $4 billion, has worked masterful strokes over the past months to promote a film that in many ways doesn’t need promotion.
The house of mouse has done this by giving fans glimpses of footage and plot as well as announcing that its theme parks in California and Florida will be getting two 14-acre “Star Wars” expansions — the largest Disney has ever undertaken.
The company even made the film’s merchandising launch into a full fledged event calling it “Force Friday.”
Monday night was just another example of Disney seamlessly using its interconnected conglomerate to promote the film as it takes one of its most valuable assets, ESPN, to market another.
“We are managing all of this with great care,” said Disney’s CEO Bob Iger during the company’s earnings call in May. “I think we’ve got something here that is very, very special that’s going to create value for the company for many, many years to come.”