Star Wars: Rogue One is merely a few weeks away from hitting theaters, and in case you were wondering whether the first standalone Star Wars movie wouldn’t capture the interest of fans as much as the main saga, the ticket sales signs suggest otherwise.
Tickets for the movie went on sale Sunday night and to mark the occasion, Lucasfilm released a new TV spot for Rogue One that teases the return of an old villain.
It seemed that fans were desperate to make sure they had a ticket for opening night, as they were willing to endure long lines in person and crashed a popular ticketing website.
Lines stretched around the block at theaters in Southern California, according to KABC. They waited for hours to get the first tickets to see Star Wars: Rogue One, perhaps because they had an extra little incentive to show up in person. The first 1,000 fans to buy tickets at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood walked away with a special Rogue One poster.
While there has been some trepidation about the latest Star Wars movie, in part due to decisions like removing the traditional opening crawl, it seemed there was no lack of excitement for fans trying to grab their tickets.
“There’s a reverence that I’ve seen in it that was kind of missing, especially in the prequels and this just brings it back for me,” one said.
The long lines are something of a tradition for Star Wars fans. When tickets for the prequel trilogy went on sale, some camped for days if not weeks to make sure they were one of the first to see The Phantom Menace. And there were plenty of long lines back in the ’80s too, as lovers of the original movies desperately tried to find out what happened in Return of the Jedi.
Meanwhile, those who preferred to wait at home to grab tickets for Star Wars: Rogue One ran into a roadblock on the ticketing website Fandango.
Fans visited the Star Wars: Rogue One tickets page on the site and were placed into a queue, but when the wait time was up, many fans saw an error message instead of a page where they could actually buy their tickets, according to Fansided.
Perhaps holding back ticket sales until only a few weeks before release increased the difficulty of getting them, especially after tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens went on sale around two months before release last year.
To give fans an extra incentive to pick up a ticket as soon as possible, Lucasfilm’s latest TV spot hinted at the return of a key villain from the original Star Wars trilogy, Grand Moff Tarkin.
While the spot doesn’t give a clear glimpse of the commander of the Death Star, it seems he’s briefly shown from behind as he observes the construction of his beloved space station from afar.
Peter Cushing, who played the villain in Star Wars: A New Hope, passed away in 1994, and it is not as yet clear who is taking up the mantle of the character. However, as Entertainment Weekly points out, Wayne Pygram played Tarkin in Revenge of the Sith, where he was seen observing the initial building of the Death Star.
Star Wars: Rogue One tells the story of the heist to steal the plans for the Death Star. It expands the Star Wars lore by telling a prequel tale that’s somewhat removed from the saga of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren.
The movie stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker, with Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards directing.
Star Wars: Rogue One will be released on December 16.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]