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President Obama Cuts Press Conference Short To See Star Wars

US President Barack Obama, 55 minutes into his year-end press conference, finished answering a question about incarceration rates and seized an opportunity to make his own escape - like Darth Vader fleeing the Death Star.

"OK, everybody, I gotta get to Star Wars," he said on Friday afternoon.

The room erupted with a cacophony of reporters shouting additional questions, but Obama just smiled, said "Thank you," and slipped out of the room to join the expected tens of millions of filmgoers watching the newly released sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest later appeared at the press room dais flanked by two Star Wars stormtroopers, along with R2D2.

"Clearly, this is not the most important event that's taking place in the White House today," Obama said to start the press conference.

"There is a screening of Star Wars for Gold Star families and children (of US soldiers killed in combat) coming up. So I'll try to be relatively succinct."

DPA

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