While Star Wars: The Last Jedi is opening in theaters everywhere this weekend, NASA Public Affairs Officer Dan Huot confirmed on Tuesday that the film will also be making its way to space. Robin Seemangel, a space reporter, first broke the story on Twitter, which was later confirmed by the online magazine Inverse. The Last Jedi, the highly anticipated eight installment of the Star Wars series, will be screened on the International Space Station for the crew while in low orbit, approximately 1,200 miles above the Earth. The film’s screening is courtesy of an agreement between NASA and the Walt Disney Company, who owns the billion-dollar franchise. The date of the screening has yet to be decided, but speculation is that the film could head to space soon, possibly being included inside the SpaceX Dragon capsule set to launch on Friday, December 15th.
Numerous aspects of living and working on the International Space Station are unique to that environment, but indulging in Hollywood movie magic proves to be a universal recreational activity—even while hurling through space. Films are sent as digital files and then are played on laptops or projectors already on the space station. The space station has an expansive movie library, with over 500 films spanning a variety of genres, which astronauts can watch during their days off or while working out on the treadmill. The space station also holds regular movie nights, utilizing the projector normally used for conferences and tech software. Astronauts will have to do their best to avoid spoilers online while they wait for The Last Jedi to reach them.