White House feels the Force of Star Wars

White House press secretary Josh Earnest poses with stormtroopers in the White House Briefing Room.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest poses with stormtroopers in the White House Briefing Room.PHOTO: EPA
Journalists surrounding Star Wars character R2-D2, who was brought into the White House press briefing room after Mr Obama finished his end-of-year news conference on Dec 18.
Journalists surrounding Star Wars character R2-D2, who was brought into the White House press briefing room after Mr Obama finished his end-of-year news conference on Dec 18. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Even the White House is not immune to The Force.

A gaggle of Stormtroopers and the droid R2-D2 were spotted in West Wing on Friday, as the seat of US executive power succumbed to intergalactic-sized hype around the new blockbuster Star Wars movie.

Giving an end of year press conference, President Barack Obama revealed he too was swept up by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has already set an opening night box office record in the United States and Canada.

"Clearly, this is not the most important thing that's taking place in the White House today," he joked.

"There's a screening of Star Wars" for people who lost a family member in the Iraq war."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest appeared unannounced at the lectern of the briefing room with the Star Wars characters, including Darth Vader's henchmen.

Journalists joked there was now little doubt about whether the White House sides with the Dark Side of the Force.