Ted Cruz tries to capitalize on ‘Star Wars’ buzz

Sen. Ted Cruz is hoping to capitalize on all the excitement building around the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this week.

The Republican presidential candidate is spearheading a contest for users of his social media app to win tickets to see the highly-anticipated film. 

“Ted is a huge fan of the entire saga, and we know many of you are too. So keep helping us get the message out for a chance to win a movie night on us!” read a message sent to the Cruz app users this weekend. The seven users with the most points between now and Tuesday on the app will win the free tickets. According to ABC News, Cruz is a devout “Star Wars” fanatic and he said the swashbuckling Han Solo may be “the coolest character in all of cinema.”

RELATED: Five reasons why you should care about ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

During his 18-hour anti-Obamacare Senate speech in 2013, he infamously quoted dialogue from “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader. And this year he has awkwardly impersonated Vader and Yoda on the campaign trail.

This is not the first time Cruz has aligned himself with a popular science fiction franchise. Earlier this year the Texas lawmaker drew headlines for insisting the fictional Captain James T. Kirk of “Star Trek” fame would have been a Republican and that Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” would be a Democrat.

“Let me do a little psychoanalysis,” Cruz told The New York Times Magazine in July. “If you look at ‘’Star Trek: The Next Generation,’ it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk’s rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind.”

The original ‘Star Trek’ was grittier,” Cruz added. “Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. The original ‘Star Trek’ pressed for racial equality, which was one of its best characteristics, but it did so without sermonizing.”

For his part Shatner dismissed Cruz’s assertion as “silly.” No one from the “Star Wars” universe has yet to respond to Cruz’s new initiative. 

Meanwhile, Cruz has now climbed into a lead in polls for the Republican primary in Iowa. It appears the force is strong with him.

Movies, Star Wars and Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz tries to capitalize on 'Star Wars' buzz