‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Female Focus Is Firing Up Fans

Daisy Ridley’s Rey is most anticipated new character in “The Force Awakens,” according to Fandango survey

Much has been made of Disney’s decision to focus on female characters in the marketing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and the results of survey released Tuesday suggest they’re connecting with ticket buyers.

Daisy Ridley‘s Rey is the new character driving the most anticipation among those responding to a survey by online ticket broker Fandango, and 84 percent say they were excited to see the new female leads in “The Force Awakens.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which opens Friday following Thursday night’s preview shows, has shattered records for advance ticket sales at Fandango.

Teen “fan boys” have traditionally been the driving force behind the box office success of the series, and Disney has tried to broaden the base in terms of gender and ethnicity with castings and its promotions of “The Force Awakens.”

The results are based on an unscientific poll of roughly 1,000 respondents to survey questions posted on Fandango.com.

As TheWrap previously reported, 52 percent of the people talking about the film on Facebook are women. The largest demo buzzing about the new film is 18-34 year-olds.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • 90 percent are looking forward to J.J. Abrams‘ vision of the “Star Wars” universe.
  • 86 percent say the film’s carefully-guarded story secrets have increased their interest;
  • 82 percent are even more excited to see “Force Awakens” because “Empire” and “Jedi” scribe Lawrence Kasdan co-wrote the screenplay;
  • 81 percent are excited to see the big-screen return of the classic “Star Wars” characters (Han Solo, Leia, Chewbacca, et al).