Fail Wars: Fans 'very disappointed' with Star Wars sound issues

For dozens of loyal Fredericton Star Wars fans, last night was a massive let down.

Ticket holders for one of the biggest movies of the year left straining to hear dialogue on opening night

Ticket holders for one of the biggest movies of the year left straining to hear dialogue on opening night 2:05

For dozens of loyal Fredericton Star Wars fans, last night was a massive let down. 

Audio issues plagued the second Fredericton showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi Thursday leaving audience members, this reporter included, straining to hear any dialogue including iconic Wookie roars and droid screaming. 

Sound effects, such as spaceships exploding or lightsabers cutting through the air, resonated fine. But the dialogue from the highly anticipated sequel was almost completely muted. 

Dozens of moviegoers in Fredericton suffered through audio issues for the opening night of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Kirk Pennel/CBC)
"It was like they had problems with balancing the audio," said Matthew Davis, a longtime fan of the saga who had waited in line for around three hours. "The dialogue was very, very quiet." 

The movie was paused during the iconic opening crawl prompting several audience members to shout out in frustration.  

Ticket holders bumped

"I'm very disappointed," said Davis, who says he's a big enough fan that he has purchased props from the movie "It detracted the whole time I was watching the movie. The audio issues weighing on my mind, in the back of my head." 

Davis says he endured the entire film despite dozens of others walking out of the movie. Those who did complain were offered seating in the third and final showing of the evening.

Hundreds of people lined up for hours at the Regent Mall in Fredericton Thursday night for the opening showings of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Mariajose Burgos/CBC)
However, that priority seating effectively allowed several dozen ticket-holders to "butt-in-line" of dozens of other ticket holders who had also been waiting in line for hours. 

Technical issues 

Cineplex blames a failed sound processor in the theatre for the muted dialogue and says the unit has already been replaced. 

"I know that this is a really highly anticipated film and to not have the best possible experience at the theatre is definitely not what we were going for," Sarah Van Lange, the director of communications for Cineplex said.

"So, anybody that was at the nine thirty or the late show last night in auditorium one please bring your ticket back or reach out to the general manager at the theatre. They are aware and will do everything they can to make it right." 

For Davis going to see the movie again will be the only way to fully understand what happened long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

About the Author

Shane Fowler


Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.