Giving Star Wars fans something extra to be grateful for, advance tickets for Rogue One will go on sale Monday in the United States, Lucasfilm announced on Thanksgiving night.
The sale begins at midnight Eastern for most ticket-sellers, although the timing is up to the individual retailers.
Rogue One, the first stand-alone movie in the franchise opens on Dec. 16. Unlike last year, when The Force Awakens tickets went on sale in mid-October for a similar debut window, Lucasfilm and parent company Disney have held back on early sales in North America for this movie.
Fans have been anxious the past several weeks as they eagerly awaited the announcement. The feeling only intensified after tickets for the movie went on sale this past Monday in the U.K., which will see the film open a day earlier, on Dec. 15.
Rogue One is unique among the Star Wars films, breaking with the tradition of one story told over the span of a trilogy to rewind the chronology and introduce new characters in a spin-off, this one set right before the events depicted in 1977’s original movie.
Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Erso, a Rebel spy turned Joan-of-Arc-type military leader. She sets off on a quest to steal the plans for the Empire’s first Death Star, joined by Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, a veteran Rebel agent, Alan Tudyk as his trusty security droid, and Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen as Baze Malbus and Chirrut Imwe, two citizens of an Imperial-occupied planet who join the resistance.
Last year, The Force Awakens sold more than $100 million worth of advance tickets before its December debut. It won’t be possible to compare sales for Rogue One, given the compressed window, but Hollywood trades have predicted as high as a $130 million opening weekend for the movie.
The Force Awakens earned $248 million in its first weekend, on its way to collecting $2.06 billion globally.
But that movie featured veteran characters Han Solo, Leia Organa, and (eventually) Luke Skywalker, while introducing new fan-favorites Rey, Fin, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren.
Rogue One, which seeks to expand the style of Star Wars cinematic storytelling by introducing a grittier, non-Jedi soldier’s story, has a tough act to follow – but is nonetheless expected to be one of the biggest movies of the year. The only question: How big?
For more Star Wars news, follow @Breznican.