The trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit Apple iTunes Friday morning sending millions of fans into a frenzy. People were poised around their devices in anticipation of the much-hyped first look at the seventh film in the franchise, and the initial reaction is overwhelmingly positive.

Trailer review: The Force Awakens3:17

  • On mobile? Watch the trailer here

"There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?" asks an ominous voice as the trailer begins. Then the camera pans over a sandy landscape, that looks like the desert planet​ Tatooine, and actor John Boyega pops into frame as a panicked-looking stormtrooper.  

The iconic X-wing Starfighters and the Millennium Falcon also appear and the familiar notes of the iconic Star Wars theme.

"I'm excited," admits CBC film critic Eli Glasner moments after viewing the 88-second tease.

"It looks like [director] J.J. Abrams has pulled off an impressive balancing act, by giving us the Star Wars retro-futuristic feel, while at the same time updating the franchise's style."

Special theatre engagement

Disney and Lucasfilm are also releasing the trailer in a special engagement at 30 North American theatres to coincide with the American Thanksgiving holiday, and people are lining up outside to be among the first to see it on the big screen.

The teaser will play ahead of every movie from Friday morning until Sunday, but only two Canadian theatres are participating.

  • The Yonge and Dundas​ Cineplex in Toronto.
  • The Riverport Cineplex in Vancouver.
Harrison Ford-Han Solo-Star Wars

Actors Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, left to right, seen here in 1977's Star Wars, reprise their roles in the coming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (20th Century-Fox Film Corporation/Associated Press)

Earlier this month, Lucasfilm confirmed that principal photography for the film was completed. The studio also revealed that Star Wars Episode VII would be called The Force Awakens, triggering an outpouring of jokes online.

The latest instalment in the Star Wars saga is set 30 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and features original Star Wars actors, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa and Harrison Ford as Han Solo.

Earlier this year, 72-year-old Ford broke his ankle during filming, reportedly on the door of the Millennium Falcon spacecraft.

The Force Awakens is slated for wide release on Dec. 18, 2015.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the movie would be opening for wide release on Dec. 15, 2015. The correct release date is Dec. 18, 2015.
    Nov 28, 2014 12:47 PM ET