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Fortnite servers went down an hour before its Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker event (Update)

Everyone had trouble connecting, but folks eventually got in

Promotional picture featuring an Imperial Stormtrooper in front of a movie poster announcing the exclusive premiere of a scene from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in Fortnite on Dec. 14, 2019. Image: Epic Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

It appears that Fortnite’s servers went down, less than an hour before its in-world premiere of a clip from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is due to air at Risky Reels. lists Fortnite as reporting problems beginning at 1 p.m. EST. Social media is alight with messages saying folks are having trouble logging in across the board.

Fortnite’s official Twitter account for server status acknowledged the problems at 1:30 p.m.

We’ve reached out to an Epic Games representative to ask what is going on and for more details. Sit tight.

The gates of Risky Reels, Fortnite’s in-world drive-in, were due to open at 1:30 p.m. to screen a clip from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which opens in theaters on Dec. 20. Director J.J. Abrams will be involved in the screening, per a teaser from Thursday night’s The Game Awards 2019.

Loot is on the line with this event, too. Anyone who participates gets a free TIE Fighter glider. There are a couple of Star Wars skins for sale in the in-game marketplace, too.

Update: Players are now able to access the game, and an in-world message from The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley acknowledged the large numbers attempting to log into the game was causing difficulty. A count of viewers on streaming services show some 3 million people alone are watching there.

An Epic Games rep said all players will get the TIE glider, whether or not they attended (or were able to) the screening.

Update 2:30 p.m. EST: The in-game event began around 2:14, with a big flyover from the Millennium Falcon, harassed by a squadron of TIE Fighters after the Empire jumped into system.

J.J. Abrams showed up in world to parley with Keighley and a very obnoxious Stormtrooper, before the clip was shown. It involved Rey, Finn and Poe sneaking aboard some First Order vessel and Rey using a Jedi mind trick. Notably, she was carrying her pike from The Force Awakens, not a lightsaber.

After the event, the Falcon zoomed off and Emperor Palpatine growled some evil stuff about the day of the Sith being at hand. Fortnite players were given a lightsaber in their choice of favorite color.

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