Thousands of deployed troops are going to see the new 'Star Wars' before everyone else

Entertainment

Some 10,000 deployed service members will be getting an early screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

So, here's to hoping there are no blue falcons out there to ruin it for everyone else.


Starting on Dec. 18, two days before its theatrical release, troops deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere, will have a chance to see the highly anticipated final installment in the Star Wars franchise that began a long time ago, in May, 1977.

The free special showing is the result of a partnership between the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and Walt Disney Studios, according to a joint statement put out on Tuesday.

"Since 2012, the Exchange has forged a partnership with The Walt Disney Studios to bring first-run movies to our nation's heroes," Tom Shull, the CEO of AAFES said in the statement. "Bringing a blockbuster movie like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to deployed troops during the holidays is a big morale boost. These service members are away from family and friends during this special time of year—and seeing a big release at the same time it's being shown back home strengthens their connection with family and friends and eases the tensions of deployment."

And what could be a better morale boost for an E-4 deployed to Afghanistan than to be able to call up his high school buddy back home working at the strip mall to say "Ha, I told you joining the Army was a good idea! Eat it!"

In 2017, service members downrange had a chance to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, ahead of its theatrical release; and a year before that, others saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Ditto for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.

"It's a privilege to do something special for these brave men and women," Ken Caldwell, an executive vice president with Walt Disney Studios said. "This is our way of thanking our troops for their service."

According to the statement, "the free screenings will take place at locations where the Exchange does not operate Reel Time Theaters, however Exchange theaters in Qatar, Afghanistan and Kuwait will play the movie during its normal theatrical release."

Roughly a dozen U.S. troops showing concussion-related symptoms are being medically evacuated from Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, a defense official told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.

Read More

In a Galaxy — err, I mean, on a military base far, far away, soldiers are standing in solidarity with galactic freedom fighters.

Sitting at the top of an Army press release from March 2019, regarding the East Africa Response Force's deployment to Gabon, the photo seems, at first glance, just like any other: Soldiers on the move.

But if you look closer at the top right, you'll find something spectacular: A Rebel Alliance flag.

Read More
The maiden flight of the first CMV-22B Osprey took place in Amarillo, Texas (Courtesy photo)

The first of the CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft the Navy plans on adopting as its carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft of choice has successfully completed its first flight operations, manufacturer Boeing announced on Tuesday.

Read More
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army

Another 300 lawsuits against 3M flooded federal courts this month as more military veterans accuse the behemoth manufacturer of knowingly making defective earplugs that caused vets to lose hearing during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan or while training on U.S. military bases.

On another front, 3M also is fighting lawsuits related to a class of chemicals known as PFAS, with the state of Michigan filing a lawsuit last week against the Maplewood-based company.

To date, nearly 2,000 U.S. veterans from Minnesota to California and Texas have filed more than 1,000 lawsuits.

Read More

GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korea said on Tuesday it was no longer bound by commitments to halt nuclear and missile testing, blaming the United States' failure to meet a year-end deadline for nuclear talks and "brutal and inhumane" U.S. sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set an end-December deadline for denuclearization talks with the United States and White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said at the time the United States had opened channels of communication.

O'Brien said then he hoped Kim would follow through on denuclearization commitments he made at summits with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Read More