The trailer has wracked up more than 14 million views on YouTube barely half a day after going online. It was accompanied by the release of tickets for the film in the United States. These have smashed all previous records by a factor of eight times, crashing cinema computer systems across the USA and unleashing hitherto never-experienced levels of mild inconvenience. The pre-interest in the film, which seems to dwarf even that of the prequel trilogy, means that there is an excellent chance that The Force Awakens could challenge Avatar for the title of most successful movie of all time.
The trailer - itself still holding back on telling us much about what the film is actually about - is the latest and apparently last step in a marketing campaign that has been relatively and unusually restrained by Hollywood standards. The film's storyline is still under wraps, only a few character names and their actors have been revealed, and the role that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will play remains a mystery, especially given his total absence from the movie's official poster. For a film out in just eight weeks and accompanied by a vast amount of merchandise, this is a remarkable achievement.
The trailers have also done a good job of targeting the nostalgia nerve centres of old-skool Star Wars fans, daring them to hope that the new movies will be excellent. They've certainly done a good job of making everyone forget that J.J. Abrams's last movie was the lamentable Into Darkness, which should otherwise inject some caution into proceedings (until you remember that that was also partly down to the less-than-talented scriptwriters, whilst Lawrence Kasdan is working on the new Star Wars movies and thus that makes it okay again).
The Force Awakens is merely the first in a sustained assault on the wallets - but hopefully not patience - of the movie-going public. No less than three Star Wars movies will be released in just eighteen months, with Star Wars: Rogue One following in December 2016 and then Star Wars Episode VIII in May 2017. A Han Solo origin film will then follow in 2018 and Episode IX in 2019. Further Star Wars films are likely after that point, although no release date has yet been set for Star Wars: The Fate of Jar-Jar.