The highly-anticipated full trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens has been unveiled two months before release as UK fans complained of cinema websites crashing as they tried to book advance tickets.
The two and a half-minute clip debuted on US television during half-time during an American football game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia and was also released online to the delight of fans on social media.
The Force Awakens, the seventh film in the franchise, is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, with flurries of excitement accompanying each trailer launch. The second teaser trailer, which debuted in April, has more than 64 million views on YouTube to date.
High demand has seen many fans complain of websites crashing as they tried to buy tickets.
The trailer opens with Daisy Ridley’s character Rey and John Boyega’s Finn questioning their places in the galaxy, before new antagonist Kylo Ren, played by Girls star Adam Driver, promises to finish what Darth Vader started.
There are also glimpses of the stars of the original trilogy, with Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Peter Mayhew’s Chewbacca appearing, as well as a fleeting glimpse of Carrie Fisher as Leia. Missing from the footage is Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker but there are sweeping shots of the Millennium Falcon, Storm Troopers and plenty of action accompanied by a soaring score to keep fans happy.
Jurassic World star Chris Pratt was among those excited about the film’s release.
“I think it looks absolutely awesome. So pumped for Star Wars ! Plus I’m down for anything with Oscar Isaac.”
TV presenter Lizo Mzimba tweeted: “Some lovely images in the new starwars trailer plus finally little bit of plot. And and and beautiful John Williams music.”
The trailer’s release coincides with the launch of ticket sales for the film and comes directly after the unveiling of the theatrical poster.
However fans in the UK were left frustrated after cinema websites struggled to cope with demand when the advanced tickets went on sale on Monday morning at 8am.
One Twitter user, using the name ThatTennantGuy, wrote: “The Force is not strong with the Odeon website today. Took Yoda’s advice too literally they did; load or do not, there is no try.”, while ailsas wrote: “Is “I’m sorry, I was trying to book Star Wars tickets but the Odeon site kept crashing” a valid excuse for being late for work?”
Odeon later tweeted: “Star Wars Fans - When booking tickets please only book in one window at a time. It will save booking errors & get you your tickets sooner!”
Vue Cinemas said: “Our Star Wars tickets have been flying off the shelves at 5 past lightspeed.”
The film is a continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and is set 30 years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi. It is directed by JJ Abrams and also stars Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels and Max von Sydow.
Glimpses of the film have trickled out since the first teaser trailer was unveiled in November 2014.
Other footage, including a behind-the-scenes reel shown at Comic-Con and a special Instagram scene, have left fans hungry for more and the full-length trailer is the most substantial insight into the finished movie so far.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, will receive a world premiere in Los Angeles on 14 December ahead of a UK release on 17 December.