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Finding the Force: The basics on that Star Wars premiere
FYI: Yes, it officially debuts Friday, but showings start tonight
Film-Star-Wars-Rating Casa
Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the new film, "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," directed by J.J. Abrams.

OK, it seems like just about everybody has been drooling over this “Star Wars” premiere since 2012. Countdown clocks were set in October of that year when the Walt Disney Co. purchased Lucasfilm.

But just in case you’ve been living under a rock or just don’t have the vast “Star Wars” knowledge of your co-worker or significant other, here are the basics.

1. J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” picks up 30 years after “Return of the Jedi” with a search for mysteriously missing Luke Skywalker, part of an ongoing battle between good and evil. It features original stars Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke and Carrie Fisher as Leia.

2. Critics are praising the installment as a return to form for the “Star Wars” franchise, albeit one that replays many of the saga’s familiar story lines. Read the review from the Associated Press, which gave the movie three out of four stars.

3. It’s going to make a lot of money, but you probably knew that already. It has sold more than $100 million worth of advance tickets. Rival studio executives peg a debut likely surpassing the record $208.8 million domestic debut of “Jurassic World” in June.

4. Though the official release is Friday, showings are actually beginning tonight, with the first in Gainesville at 7 p.m. at Hollywood Cinemas in 3-D. Tickets for adults are $13.46. The first standard showing is at 7:30 p.m., but it seems to be sold out. The first available showing — as of 10 a.m. today — is at 9:45 p.m. and those tickets are $10.47. See showtimes and prices in your area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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