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Salespeople dress as Storm Trooper characters from "Star Wars" as merchandise goes on sale for the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York.

Salespeople dress as Storm Trooper characters from "Star Wars" as merchandise goes on sale for the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York.

Classic American films and a pair of politicians were in the news this week. And a sports team disappointed long-suffering fans by falling short of the baseball World Series.

Those stories are the top trending stories in the U.S. for the week ending October 23, 2015.

The seventh film in the famous Star Wars serial finally comes out in December. It’s the first movie in the series in 10 years.

The extended trailer – or film preview – came out on Monday night during halftime of a National Football League game. The video ran just over two minutes and featured appearances by characters old and new. Over 40 million people played the video on YouTube so far. says 17,000 tweets per minute referenced Star Wars at the peak of the excitement.

The movie’s young stars were thrilled to see their scenes for the first time. John Boyega is a young British actor who plays the character Finn.

Daisy Ridley, also from England, plays Rey. She posted a video of herself watching the clip for the first time. Ridley can be heard saying, “Oh my god, it’s amazing.”

One movie theater chain, AMC, said 1,000 showings of the film sold out in the first 12 hours. But fans must contain their excitement until December 18 to use those tickets.

Another sentimental movie since it came out in 1989 sparked a bit of nostalgia this week.

“Back to the Future: Part 2” was the sequel to a film that introduced the characters Marty McFly and “Doc” Brown. The films deal with time travel and feature the main characters using a futuristic DeLorean as the mode of transport.

In the first film, the characters travel back to 1955 from 1985. The second film sends the characters to the year 2015. October 21, 2015 to be exact. Wednesday was that date, and movie fans took to social media to express their interest.

The hashtag #IfIHadAHoverboard was one of the most popular on Wednesday. Fans used Twitter to tell the world what they would do with the fictional skateboard. Even President Barack Obama weighed in.

The movie is famous for making predictions about all sorts of things. The hoverboard was just one. Another prediction dealt with the sports world. The Chicago Cubs last won the World Series in 1908. “Back to the Future: Part 2” teases baseball fans with the fictional newsflash that the Cubs won the World Series in 2015.

In real life, the Cubs came close. They lost to the Mets in the National League Championship Series.

We are slightly more than a year away from electing the next U.S. president. But the campaign is already in full swing.

President Obama’s term will end in 2017. In some years the sitting vice president would be seen as a presidential candidate. It has happened several times before. George Bush became president after serving as Ronald Reagan’s vice president for eight years.

But current Vice President Joe Biden announced he would not be a candidate. He said there was not enough time to start a successful campaign for the Democratic nomination. He vowed to remain active in politics.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been campaigning for the presidency since April. On Thursday, she testified before Congress about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, died that day. Correct the Record website cited that Committee Chair Trey Gowdy mentioned the word "email" 78 times and the word "Benghazi" 18 times.

The hearing lasted 11 hours.

The New York Times produced a video claiming to condense all the important moments from the 11-hour hearing into just three minutes.

That is what caught people’s attention in the U.S. this week.

I’m Anna Mateo.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

amazing – adj. causing great surprise or wonder

clip – n. a short section of a movie, TV show, etc.

condense – v. to make (something) shorter or smaller by removing parts that are less important

dubious – adj. causing doubt, uncertainty, or suspicion : likely to be bad or wrong

serial – n. a story that is broadcast on television or radio or that is published in a magazine in separate parts over a period of time

futuristic – adj. very modern

nostalgia – n. pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again

sentimental – adj. appealing to the emotions especially in an excessive way

preview – n. a selected group of scenes that are shown to advertise a movie or television show

vow – v. to make a serious promise to do something or to behave in a certain way — often followed by to + verb

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