The past 24 hours have brought good news and bad news for throngs of Star Wars fans who are eagerly awaiting “Rogue One,” the next installment in the film saga.
Let’s start with the bad news: Many of those fans faced hours of frustration on Sunday night scrambling for advance tickets. At 9:01 p.m. PT, theaters and websites started selling tickets for the show, including seats for opening night on Dec. 15.
At least that was the plan.
Seattle’s Cinerama struggled with its overloaded online reservation system for hours: Users encountered repeated error messages when they tried to connect – and even if they were able to get through to the website, many couldn’t get all the way through the payment process. “Could Not Get Seat Data” was a frequent response.
For the Cinerama’s harried staff, and for hard-core fans who had a hard time getting opening-night tickets to “Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” it was deja vu all over again:
After TFA we asked a lot of serious questions & were assured that the site was ready, but again the ball was dropped. Seattle, we're sorry.
— Seattle Cinerama (@SeattleCinerama) November 28, 2016
Some fans played it safe and camped out at the Cinerama, waiting for tickets to be sold at the brick-and-mortar box office.
One of the country’s biggest online ticket-sellers, Fandango, turned to an online website called Queue-It to handle the demand for “Rogue One” tickets. When traffic levels spiked, Fandango’s users (including yours truly) were shunted onto Queue-It’s server to bide their time until an online place opened up for purchase.
At least that was the plan. Although I was able to get through, many others apparently weren’t:
Fandango crashes after people try to buy Star Wars: Rogue One ticketshttps://t.co/9Sl2ie4PVV
— FanSided (@FanSided) November 28, 2016
Today, everything’s back to normal, although the Cinerama is sold out for opening night. The good news is, so many theaters are showing “Rogue One” that lots of opening-night seats are available elsewhere.
And there’s still more good news: Over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, a couple of new video clips were released for “Rogue One.”
The movie, subtiled “a Star Wars story,” follows the exploits of a band of rebels in the days before Luke Skywalker comes onto the scene in the original “Star Wars” movie (now known as Episode IV).
For this movie, even the trailers have titles. “Trust,” released on Friday, touches on the back story for the film’s heroine, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). It also gives screen time to the Death Star and Darth Vader – plus a silhouetted figure who looks like Grand Moff Tarkin, the villain played by the late Peter Cushing in the original movie. (He may reappear in this one, thanks to computer-generated movie magic.)
“Trust” shows the rebels and their X-Wing fighters battling with Imperial Walkers on a beach: When one Walker refuses to go down, Jyn Erso turns to a teammate and says, “Tell me you have a backup plan.”
A 30-second TV spot, titled “Breath,” made its debut Sunday night. It mostly consists of quick cuts from the trailer, but puts Darth Vader (and his respiratory problem) at center stage: