“Star Wars” sequel earns massive hype

Released on May 25, 1977, “Star Wars: A New Hope” was the unlikely start to a series that would become revered as one of the greatest franchises of all time. Thirty-eight years and five additions later, the series once thought to have concluded is gaining a sequel: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The film is directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Bad Robot Productions and Lucasfilm, which was acquired by Disney in 2012. It hits theaters on December 18.

The movie takes place approximately 30 years after “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.” The plot revolves around two factions: The First Order, the reincarnation of the Galactic Empire, and the Resistance, the successor to the Rebel Alliance. Although many characters return, there are new protagonists as well. The rest of the details are left to fans’ speculations, which has spawned numerous blogs spouting predictions and portraying fans’ impressive dedication to the series.

The worldwide box office total for the franchise is close to $4.5 billion, the fifth highest in history, and the upcoming film will bring the series to greater heights. Since the trailer was released in late 2014, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has gained so much hype, it may surpass the current box-office revenue record of $2.78 billion, held by “Avatar.”

If you are planning on getting tickets, you should act soon; they are selling out quickly. Only a day after tickets became available on October 19, the film broke the IMAX early ticket sales record with over $6.5 million for U.S. showings. The initial rush of fans ordering tickets online crashed several sales websites, including Fandango.

It’s not surprising to see so many people excited for the film; the newest “Star Wars” is bolstered by the impressive legacy of the franchise. The original trilogy, consisting of episodes four through six, featured groundbreaking effects and a memorable story that enraptured many fans. Decades later, these veteran fans are eager to continue the adventure and see where their favorite characters are now. However, “Star Wars” also appeals to the younger generation. The original three films along with the more recent prequel trilogy have remained popular, and even in recent years many kids have fallen in love with the “Star Wars” universe. Also, “Star Wars” TV shows have further secured the loyalty of children. The movies have a wide fan base of all ages, giving “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” an edge that most films do not have.

As if the film is not anticipated enough, “Star Wars” buffs will likely be attracted by the large cast of returning characters. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will return as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, respectively. On top of this, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker will continue voicing Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2, respectively. This cast made the original trilogy so unforgettable and their return is both impressive and welcome.

We can be certain the ticket sales for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will continue rising rapidly. At their current rate, they will climb past our atmosphere and toward a galaxy far, far away.