Star Wars: The Force Awakens world premiere: fans' first reaction
Published 15/12/2015 | 08:25
Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and other stars reunited on red carpet in Los Angeles ahead of the biggest film release of the year – if not century
Social media reacts
There's an embargo on reviews until Wednesday morning but spoiler-free reaction has emerged on Twitter from those who managed to secure tickets. The good news? It's resoundingly positive.
Also, though he may not be in the film himself, Joseph Gordon-Levitt took dressing for the red carpet to a whole new level. Or he was on his way to bed and got confused. Either way it's too good not to share.
What do the fans think?
A British man, who gave his name as Ed and said he was originally from London, described the film as "excellent" after seeing it with his two children.
"It was funny, emotional and just really, really good," he said.
Leron and Audrey Gubler said the film brought back the magic of earlier Star Wars film, all the more meaningful for the couple as it was the first of the series to which they could take their two children Lauren, 11, and nine-year-old Seth.
"We loved it," said Mr Gubler, 64, the president of Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. "It brought back the magic of the first three films. What was great about it was that it didn't take itself as seriously as the second trilogy. It kind of took the whole thing back to its roots and it also brought back some of the original characters.
"I saw the first movie back in 1977 and I was hooked. It blew me away and now my son, who was jumping up and down with the excitement of coming tonight, thinks this one was awesome."
Mrs Gubler summed up her feelings more succinctly: "Han Solo is back and that was what was so great about it. We missed him. This film will be huge. It was so much fun."
The Force finally returned to Hollywood as Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill walked the red carpet at the world premiere of the highly-anticipated new Star Wars movie.
The trio were joined by an army of Stormtroopers plus C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 for the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
A long stretch of Hollywood Boulevard was closed to traffic for days ahead of the unveiling of the film and a huge white tent was erected as fans camped outside the TCL Chinese Theatre for more than a week in anticipation of the first public screening.
The film has already made box office history in England, where it has sold more than half a million tickets for its opening week at one cinema chain alone.
The seventh instalment in the series, which comes 10 years after the last film, reunites the original trio who were absent from the prequels. They are joined by newcomers Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie.
The plot of the movie is a closely-guarded secret and each trailer and snippet of footage has sent fans wild with excitement and speculation.
Only a handful of people had seen it in full before it was finally screened in three cinemas on Hollywood Boulevard, including the TCL Chinese Theatre where the first movie premiered.
Star Wars creator George Lucas was spotted laughing and chatting with The Force Awakens director and co-writer JJ Abrams on the red carpet.
Lucas has already seen the movie and has reportedly given it his seal of approval.
Dressed in a navy jacket, checked shirt and lilac pullover, he said: "It's a film about families and what one generation leaves behind another generation has to deal with."
He added: "I started off wanting to do a film for young people who were going through adolescence, with mythological themes and spiritual themes. That is what resonated with people."
Abrams, who has previously directed two Star Trek movies and an instalment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, said he was not looking to put his own mark on the Star Wars film, but instead wanted to honour the story.
"I don't look at the things I do from a vantage point of putting a stamp on it, I'm trying to service the master of the stories and the characters," he said.
"It feels like it has been three years of a lot of work but at the same time it's like, 'How did this happen so quickly?'."
Harrison Ford, who returns to his role of Han Solo, arrived at the premiere in a dark suit with his wife Calista Flockhart and said making a Star Wars movie now was a far cry from making one in the 1970s.
"In the 70s nobody knew what to anticipate, nobody had seen anything like it, now we have to live up to what the first films delivered," he said.
But he said he did not feel too much pressure: "It's not my fault, we can blame it on JJ. I just work here," he said.
Mark Hamill, who returns as Luke Skywalker, refused to shed any light on why his character was absent from the official poster.
He said: "The decision to keep my character mysterious means Harrison and Carrie are doing all the heavy lifting at the moment."
He added that the biggest challenge of returning to the role was filling in the gaps in time, saying: "Trying to figure out what he's been doing all these years; we last saw him in the Retun Of The Jedi. Trying to recapture the past is a big mistake, you have to blend these characters in instead of trying to be 25 years old again."
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o arrived on the red carpet in a floor-length sparkling gown, saying: "I thought I would bring the galaxy with me."
The actress, who plays Maz Kanata, said the premiere was an overwhelming experience. "I don't think you can really fully appreciate it in this moment, I feel so lucky and blessed and I'm geeking out. I feel really happy," she said.
John Boyega has been a big fan since he was a child and he said he was blown away by the scale of the premiere.
"To be here in this capacity makes me so, so happy," he said.
"Finn is the first Stormtrooper where we have gone into his individuality, he leaves the First Order and meets Rey and BB and they go on a journey together."
Gwendoline Christie, who plays the first female villain in Star Wars, said she felt honoured to make history.
She added: "I feel really privileged but more than that I'm so encouraged that they have listened to the people and what people want, what they wanted was for the origins of the film to be honoured but brought up to date to provide a better mirror to society today.
"I felt it was progressive as a female character, there was a liberation in the body being covered in practical armour and for the focus to be on the character rather than the way the physical form looked."