Thursday 22 February 2018

Spire turned into giant lightsaber as the Jedi return for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Mark Hamill arrives at the world premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles
Mark Hamill arrives at the world premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles
Actor Domhnall Gleeson arrives at the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in Hollywood, California
Actors John Boyega and Carrie Fisher embrace as they arrive at the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
Actress Daisy Ridley on the red carpet
Deirdre Reynolds

Deirdre Reynolds

Has Luke Skywalker joined the dark side?

That's the question setting Twitter ablaze as fans prepare to come out in force for the 'Star Wars' premiere in Dublin tonight.

Peter Coonan and Baz Ashmawy are among the galaxy of Irish stars expected to hit the red carpet at the first screening of 'The Force Awakens' at Dublin's Savoy Cinema.

O'Connell Street's iconic Spire will be transformed into a giant lightsaber to mark the return of the Jedi warriors to the big screen.

More than three decades after shooting to fame in George Lucas's space epic, original stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were reunited on the red carpet at the world premiere of the blockbuster in Hollywood on Monday night.

Despite being absent from the official trailer and poster for the seventh film in the franchise, Hamill is expected to reprise the role of Luke Skywalker in the sequel to 1983's 'Return of the Jedi', which also stars Domhnall Gleeson.

But 64-year-old Hamill was keeping mum about whether his character has followed in the footsteps of his villainous dad, Darth Vader, on the big screen.

"All the young cast, and Harrison and Carrie, they're doing the heavy lifting, all because the marketing has been to keep a mystery of my character," he said.

Partly filmed on Skellig Michael off the coast of south Kerry, the movie - directed by JJ Abrams and starring newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega - is tipped to obliterate box office records on its opening weekend.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, a spokesperson for Odeon Cinemas revealed how the force would awaken for some super fans at a number of overnight screenings in the capital.

"Each of our 11 cinemas nationwide have a midnight screening of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' tonight," said Douglas Brennan of Odeon.

"But we're also doing 3am and 6am screenings in select Dublin cinemas for the first time. "Lots of people want to go into work tomorrow and say they've been one of the first to see the film."

Although he wasn't even born when the original trilogy came out, 'Star Wars' fanatic Michael Byrne (20) from Dalkey said yesterday he couldn't wait to discover if Han Solo and Princess Leia were still together after all these years. He will attend a charity midnight screening in aid of the Childhood Cancer Foundation at Cineworld Dublin.

"Fans have been waiting 32 years for this film," said Michael, who is a member of Emerald Garrison - Ireland's biggest 'Star Wars' costuming club. "We're all dying to find out what's happened to our three big childhood heroes Luke, Leia and Han Solo.

"But I've been avoiding the internet all week - and won't be putting anything up after the screening either."

Yesterday, a 'Star Wars' Facebook group threatened to post spoilers about the film on social media unless Disney and Lucasfilm gave in to demands to bring back the 'Expanded Universe' of comic books, video games and toys recently rebranded as 'Star Wars Legends'.

Ahead of tonight's Irish premiere, vice-president and general manager of Walt Disney Studios Ireland Trish Long urged cinema-goers to refrain from sharing spoilers. "In order to give audiences around the world the chance to discover its surprises and plot twists in the cinema, we do respectfully suggest that those who see the movie early be conscious of not revealing spoilers or detailed story points."

Meanwhile, arthouse cinema the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar has been declared a droid-free zone this weekend, with screenings of festive favourites such as 'It's a Wonderful Life' instead.

Irish Independent

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