Movies

Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres

Hollywood premiere of anticipated sci-fi epic draws celebs and fans amid high security

Fans cheered the highly-anticipated Hollywood premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with a standing ovation, applause and screams of delight as the space epic resumed under tight security.

Police cordoned off the area around the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard that hosted the premiere along with other nearby cinemas hosting some 5,000 guests. They set up metal detectors and deployed scores of officers and sniffer dogs.

As the stars of the latest instalment of the epic walked the red carpet, fans - some who had camped out for days in their Star Wars costumes - went into a frenzy, seeking autographs and pictures of the beloved movie characters.

"This is like the Academy Awards or something," Harrison Ford, who plays Han Solo, told AFP.

Mr Jeff Bock, an analyst at box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, said it was "probably the biggest opening in decades" and Disney CEO Bob Iger hailed what "could be the biggest premiere we have ever done".

The premiere on Monday will be followed by a global rollout in a dozen countries from today before the movie officially reaches US cinemas on Friday.

The premiere was one of the most elaborate to take place in Hollywood and was said to involve preparations far beyond those required for the Oscars, reported The Guardian.

SECRECY

Disney erected a huge tent, covering four blocks of Hollywood Boulevard in an effort to maintain secrecy outside the Chinese, Dolby and El Capitan theatres.

There were plenty of stars in attendance and many were dressed as Star Wars characters.

The Dark Knight Rises' Joseph Gordon-Levitt turned up as a DIY Yoda, US actor Rainn Wilson was there as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Colombian-born actress Sofia Vergara had her hair in Leia-esque "buns".

The younger heroes and villains of the new episode, John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), also received cheers from onlookers.

Star Wars and Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie is no stranger when it comes to the world of high fashion colliding with a galaxy far, far away, vanityfair.com reported.

She stalked the red carpet in a suitably Imperial gown that even Stormtroopers (and Game of Thrones producer Bryan Cogman) approved of.


SPOTTED ON THE RED CARPET

Director J.J. Abrams and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron)

Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma)

Film-maker George Lucas

Adam Driver (Kylo Ren)

Lupita Nyong'o (Maz Kanata)

John Boyega (Finn)

Sofia Vergara and husband Joe Manganiello

Daisy Ridley (Rey)

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