Disney and Lucasfilm felts a great financial disturbance in the Force today, as if thousands of people downloaded the latest Star Wars film for free instead of paying good money at their local cinema to see it.
That didn't take long. J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in theaters last week and a copy of it has landed on all the major piracy sites. The good news? The quality of the copy is mediocre at best. A film of its scale needs a 40-foot-screen to be enjoyed. Something shot with a handheld camera isn't going to cut it for real fans of the franchise.
Things would be much worse if an HD copy arrived online. That's what happened with many Oscar hopefuls as award season means HD screeners are sent out and often they leak online. In the past several days that has happened with The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Joy, Carol, The Peanuts Movie and The Martian.
In this continuation of the Star Wars saga, balance returns to the Force as the First Order, emerging from the ashes of the Empire, clashes with the Resistance, which includes scrappy newcomers as well as heroes from the former Rebel Alliance.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now playing at your local theater.