Lucasfilm
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October 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT

There was a great disturbance in the Force on Monday evening, as if millions of Star Wars fans suddenly tried to buy presale tickets for The Force Awakens and were stymied.

Passes for the much-anticipated space-opera reboot — which opens Dec. 18 — weren’t suppoed to go on sale until after a new Force Awakens trailer airs during halftime of the Monday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles on ESPN, but some venues began offering them up before then.

In the ensuing scrum, several movie ticketing websites crashed or were very slow to load, including Fandango.com, MovieTickets.com, Regal Cinemas, AMC Theatres, and ArcLight Cinemas.

In recent days Disney, which owns Lucasfilm and ESPN, has been whipping Star Wars fans into a frenzy with a new poster and snippets of teaser footage, as well as the promise of a Star Wars marathon leading up to The Force Awakens.

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