Monday night, right after the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer is released during Monday Night Football, theaters everywhere are going to put tickets on sale to see the movie from December 17 though January 3.

Crazy fans are definitely going to gobble up early showtimes in the choice theaters and if you want to do that, great, but here’s the truth: Just because you can buy Star Wars tickets tonight, doesn’t mean you need to.

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If you want to be at one of the first showings, are in a major city, or there aren’t a lot of options by you - yes, you probably should grab those tickets. But Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t going to only be playing at one time. It’s going to be playing on thousands upon thousands of screens for months. And though there will probably only be limited showtimes on sale tonight, odds are they will add more showtimes. A lot more. They have in the past.

So if you are fine seeing the movie on Saturday afternoon during opening weekend or *GASP* the second weekend, you absolutely do not need to buy tickets tonight. You can. It’s always nice to have peace of mind and you’re sure to get a ton on Instagram likes, but it’s not a necessity.

However, let’s say you do want to buy them tonight. I don’t blame you, I know I am. Here’s what you need to know.

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  • Tickets to some theaters are already on sale, so check now.
  • The vast majority of tickets will go on sale immediately after the new trailer airs, which will be roughly 10pm EST.
  • Theaters will have multiple options - 2D, 3D, 3D IMAX, etc. Choose which one you want.
  • The first screenings are at 7pm on December 17, though the movie doesn’t “officially” open until the 18th.
  • One sequence was shot in IMAX, so that would be a good option.
  • If you see it in IMAX, it will almost certainly also be in 3D.
  • The 3D was post-converted.
  • You will also have the option to buy a ticket to a full Star Wars marathon, starting at 4am Thursday with The Phantom Menace leading up to the 7pm screening of The Force Awakens.
  • Several theaters have cool, different giveaways like posters and stuff. Click here for more on that.

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Oh, and by the way, just because you may not have to buy your tickets tonight doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute. Once they go on sale, they’ll stay on sale, so if you can lock in some plans, go for it. I’ll see you in the theater December 17.


Contact the author at germain@io9.com.

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