Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in Los Angeles

The trailers have dropped, frantic media tours have concluded and Star Wars: The Last Jedi started the real battle yesterday at its world premiere.

The movie is expected to cash in on 12 months of relentless hype with one of the biggest domestic opening weekends ever.

Stars and fans descended on downtown Los Angeles - the first moviegoers in the world outside of the production to see the eighth instalment of the blockbuster space saga.

All eyes will be on the initial flood of social media reactions, encouraged by Lucasfilm, although the studio has embargoed detailed reviews until Tuesday, 9am Los Angeles time.

It opens here on Thursday.

Fans will have to be patient before heading to Twitter for the inevitable rhapsody of excited buzz, as The Last Jedi is the longest Star Wars movie, clocking in at 153 minutes.

Experts are predicting a North American box office haul of around US$220 million (S$297 million), which would push it beyond Jurassic World into second place behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens (US$248 million).

The cast came together in Los Angeles with US writer-director Rian Johnson on Sunday to build buzz for The Last Jedi.

It picks up where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) looking to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to teach her about The Force. It is expected to presage adverse times for the Resistance.

"There hasn't been a Star Wars movie yet that has explored war the way The Last Jedi has," said cast member John Boyega. "It is messy. The categorising of good and evil is all mixed together."

"It is a dire situation; it is critical. The Resistance is on its last legs," said co-star Oscar Isaac.

"You feel the momentum of everything that happened in The Force Awakens just pushing to a critical mass." - AFP