Stormtroopers, droids on red carpet of 'The Force Awakens' world premiere

LOS ANGELES -- Stormtroopers marched and droids rolled down the red carpet at "The Force Awakens" world premiere Monday, heralding the return of "Star Wars" after a decade-long absence from the big screen.

See Full Article

A giant opaque tent shrouded the carpet, which was lined with Stormtrooper mannequins and neon lights that resembled giant lightsabers. Inside the tent, a whole constellation of stars were assembled, including Harrison Ford, Lupita Nyong'o, Jon Favreau and Janelle Monae.

Before the film's human stars arrived, the droid BB-8 rolled by the cameras. The soccerball-esque droid has been a popular fixture in trailers for the seventh "Star Wars" film, and it was soon joined by series mainstays C-3PO and R2-D2.

John Williams' soaring score played as "The Force Awakens" cast, including Ford, Nyong'o, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Max von Sydow, Gwendolyn Christie, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley conducted interviews.

At one point, Fisher turned the microphone on her co-star, Oscar Isaac, and conducted an interview that included her dropping an expletive.

Ford reflected on the impact of the film and the role that catapulted him to superstardom.

"Well, in the '70s nobody knew what to anticipate," Ford said in an interview with Starwars.com. "Nobody had ever seen anything like it. Now we have to live up to what the first films delivered."

Despite being in charge of "The Force Awakens" for the past three years, director J.J. Abrams seemed overwhelmed by the magnitude of the premiere.

"It's very surreal. I've never seen this kind of thing," he told Starwars.com. "It's insane. I feel enormously guilty for this community, this neighbourhood."

Also present for the premiere was "Star Wars" creator George Lucas.

Disney took over a half-mile section of Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere, where the film was screening at three theatres. Some 5,000 invited guests would see the characters Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo reunite for the first time on the big screen since 1983's "Return of the Jedi."

In bleachers set up on the boulevard, some fans dressed as X-Wing pilots while others held up helmets resembling those worn by bounty hunters in the film.

Security around the site was high, with metal detectors screening pedestrians and police dogs checking the area.

For those without tickets to the premiere, the most they could see was the outside of the tent.

"We're really disappointed because we are big Star Wars fans, and we were hoping to at least see a little of the celebrities," said Natalie Arnet, a tourist from Paris.

"I understand the need for security," Arnet said.

But for a lifelong "Star Wars" fan, it was tough being that close to the premiere and not getting a better look. "I wanted to see the old cast members because I grew up with these films," she said.

Actors Chadwick Boseman and Sarah Hyland and director Steven Spielberg were among the Hollywood stars who attended what could be the largest Hollywood premiere ever. One of the participating theatres -- the iconic TCL Chinese -- hosted the premiere of the original "Star Wars" in 1977.

Spielberg praised the franchise, saying he knew when the first film was released that it would be an enduring hit. "It was a slow burn, but I knew it would never go away," Spielberg told Starwars.com.

"The Force Awakens" opens to the public Friday and some expect the film to break box office records, as it has already with presale tickets.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Early 'Star Wars' reaction: What do fans think of 'Rogue One'?

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The force is strong with "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" according to early reactions from the film's premiere Saturday night in Los Angeles. Official reviews are under embargo until Tuesday morning in advance of the Dec. Source
  • Netflix spokesperson says Prince discussed reality show

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Here's something else we lost with the death of Prince: A Netflix reality series centred on his Paisley Park home in Minnesota. A Netflix spokesperson told The Associated Press on Saturday that the online entertainment company had been in "discussions" with Prince about a series, but that the project did not "come to fruition" before his death in April. Source
  • Kirk Douglas turns 100

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Kirk Douglas knows how to make an entrance. With boxing gloves in every centrepiece and the theme from Rocky blaring over the speakers, Douglas, one of the golden age of Hollywood’s last living legends, walked confidently into the Sunset Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel Friday afternoon to celebrate his 100th birthday at an intimate gathering of friends and family. Source
  • Kim's Convenience fans brave the cold to meet stars of hit CBC show

    Entertainment CBC News
    Fans of Kim's Convenience braved the cold on Saturday to meet stars of the hit CBC show — a sitcom that's shining a spotlight on the Canadian immigrant experience and putting Asian actors front-and-centre. The meet-and-greet at 252 Queen Street East — home of the real-life Kim's Convenience store used for the show — gave fans a chance to meet stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Simu Liu and Jean Yoon. Source
  • 'I stand before you as a doormat'; Madonna condemns music industry's misogyny in Billboard award speech

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Madonna blasted the music industry for oppressing women and restricting their freedom during a blistering speech. The 58-year-old pop icon made the comments while accepting the Woman of the Year award at Billboard’s annual Women in Music event on Friday. Source
  • Khloe Kardashian's divorce from Lamar Odom to be finalized Dec. 17

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom will be officially divorced in one week. The reality star’s legal proceedings to split from her estranged husband will finalized on Dec. 17, according to court documents obtained by TMZ.com. Both Khloe and the former basketball star have waived spousal support, and will be equally sharing their joint checking account and their production company Khlomar. Source
  • 'Harry Potter' star Matthew Lewis, aka Neville Longbottom, getting married

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis is engaged. The 27-year-old British actor popped the question to girlfriend Angela Jones last month while on a romantic trip to Paris, France, according to TMZ.com. The couple met during the annual Celebration of Harry Potter event at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Fla. Source
  • Inside Kirk Douglas's intimate 100th birthday celebration

    Entertainment CTV News
    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Kirk Douglas knows how to make an entrance. With boxing gloves in every centerpiece and the theme from "Rocky" blaring over the speakers, Douglas, one of the golden age of Hollywood's last living legends, walked confidently into the Sunset Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel Friday afternoon to celebrate his 100th birthday at an intimate gathering of friends and family. Source
  • It's about time for a sci-fi film like Arrival

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    We’ll be doing a lot of soul-searching and head-scratching as awards-season progresses this month. And some of us will savour this brief, shining annual moment when movies are worth arguing about. This week, I submit my own favourite horse in the race — Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. Source
  • Schwarzenegger: OK Trump is still 'Apprentice' producer

    Entertainment CTV News
    UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the new version of "Celebrity Apprentice," is unfazed that President-elect Donald Trump has retained a producer's stake in the show. Schwarzenegger said Friday that it's just business, comparable to his situation when he became California's governor and retained a screen credit and kept earning royalties for the "Terminator" movie. Source