The 'Star Wars Episode VII' Ticket Pre-Sale Was A Total Fandango--Here’s Why

A disturbance in the Force, I sense

Star Wars: Episode VII New Trailer

Star Wars

The new Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens trailer debuted last night during Monday Night Football, and with it came the first opportunity to purchase pre-sale tickets (and an unrelated, but highly meme-able Drake video).

But the New York Giants weren't the only losers last night. Fandango's movie ticket pre-sale provided much trouble for anxious Star Wars: Episode VII fans, including your author.

As I noted in my post yesterday, the whole plan was that the tickets were supposed to be available for purchase following the Star Wars: Episode VII trailer premiering at halftime. As it turned out, the pre-sale tickets were actually available earlier than that, as observed by some news sites and some lucky Star Wars ticket buyers, meaning some fans were able to secure their tickets far before halftime hit. But for us and many others, the designated pre-sale ticket service partner, Fandango wasn't working.

And then, finally, around 10 p.m. EST, the trailer aired and was immediately posted on Twitter.

Some of what was introduced had been shown earlier in the day via the official Star Wars Instagram account, but many of the scenes were indeed new. With new footage of Daisy and BB-8 traversing an unknown desert, Han Solo confirming rumors the movie's protagonists heard about the events of the original trilogy, and Finn facing off against Kylo Ren, many fans were at peak Star Wars: Episode VII hype. But in an effort to hand Disney over my money, when I visited Fandango to pre-order my tickets, I was greeted with this page:

Star Wars: Episode VII x Fandango

Just take my moneyXavier Harding

Star Wars 7 x Fandango App

Fandango's mobile app giving users trouble as wellXavier Harding

So I turned to the Fandango mobile app. With all my credit card info and favorite movies saved, the buying process should go much more smoothly, I figured. Unfortunately, this also proved to be more of a Jedi mind trick. Many users across the web noted the same.

Only after trying to buy the tickets multiple times in multiple ways, I was finally able to get Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens pre-sale tickets purchase confirmed. Like many others—despite persistent site troubles—I found luck in purchasing tickets once the movie's trailer aired. It's unclear whether or not tickets completely sold out during Star Wars giant presale.

Fandango, for its part, said "unprecedented demand" caused the site's loading issues. When asked about the problems, the company provided Popular Science with the following statement:

"This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, Fandango traffic surged to 7 times its typical peak levels, propelling Fandango’s advance sales for Star Wars to a record-setting first day of pre-sales. For Star Wars, we have already sold 8 times as many tickets as we did on the first day of sales for the previous record holder. Movie theaters are continually adding new show times on Fandango to meet the phenomenal demand. The enthusiasm for this year’s most anticipated movie is out of this world and we expect it to continue all the way to its debut on December 18. Fandango’s first day presales record was previously held by the first The Hunger Games movie on February 22, 2012."

And yet, given the that Star Wars is such a popular franchise, it probably shouldn't have taken clairvoyant Force powers to figure that traffic would be flooding the site.

Some may believe this process wasn't worth the time I spent on it just to purchase tickets to a wide-release movie two months in advance. Either way, Disney is planning five more Star Wars movies to release in the future. Let's hope the next purchase experience is less of a Fandango fiasco.