'The Force Awakens' premiere draws cheers for familiar and new faces

LOS ANGELES - The reaction was strong to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the film's world premiere in Hollywood.

See Full Article

Inside the TCL Chinese Theatre, the audience began cheering Monday from the moments the movie's first words appeared on screen and reacted excitedly to seeing the return of Han Solo and Chewbacca after a 32-year hiatus.

The audience also greeted newcomers, such as Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma and Daisy Ridley's Rey, with vocal enthusiasm and loudly gasped at the film's various twists and turns.

After the showing, audiences spilled out into an after-party held inside a giant tent erected on Hollywood Boulevard, where they snapped photos with Stormtroopers, lined up to build their own droid toys and noshed on salmon and short ribs.

For many of the celebrity guests in attendance, they wholeheartedly approved of director J.J. Abrams' vision for the first new live-action "Star Wars" film in a decade.

"I loved it," actor-director Zach Braff told The Associated Press immediately after the premiere. "I thought J.J. did an amazing job. My favourite part was just seeing the camaraderie between the veteran and the new cast members."

"The Force Awakens" mixes old-school characters, such as Harrison Ford's Han Solo and Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa, with a new cast that includes John Boyega, Adam Driver and the spherical droid BB-8.

Patton Oswalt said "The Force Awakens" represented a return to what made him fall in love with "Star Wars" in the first place.

"It was a lot of fun," the actor-comedian said after watching the film inside the TCL Chinese Theatre. "I had the same feeling as when I would watch these films as a kid."

Disney screened "The Force Awakens" simultaneously at three Hollywood venues, with the cast and crew watching the film together inside the adjacent Dolby Theatre.

"It can't be said enough - not nearly enough - that none of us would be here tonight without the miraculous creation of one man," Abrams told the crowd before the film. "George Lucas, from the bottom of my heart, and behalf of everyone involved with 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens,' thank you, sir."

"The Force Awakens" will be released publicly Friday, with some box-office analysts expecting it to smash sales records. "The Force Awakens" has already broken presale ticket records, and many fans are eager to see the reunion of original trilogy characters last seen in 1983's "Return of the Jedi."

The premiere's red carpet kicked off Monday with Stormtroopers marching and droids rolling past cameras before the film's stars arrived. John Williams' soaring score played in the massive opaque tent spanning four blocks in Hollywood.

While most stars opted for chic red carpet attire, Joseph Gordon-Levitt showed up dressed as Yoda and actor-comedian Rainn Wilson dressed as a Jedi.

The celebration melded classic "Star Wars" mythology with the new generation that will carry the weight of two more sequels, spin-offs, video games, comic books, toys and other merchandise.

At one point on the red carpet, Fisher turned the microphone on her co-star, Oscar Isaac, and conducted an interview broadcast on StarWars.com 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," said Ford. "Nobody had ever seen anything like it. Now we have to live up to what the first films delivered."

Abrams and "Star Wars" creator Lucas posed together for photos, and both men took time to chat with fans - some dressed as X-Wing pilots and others as new "Force Awakens" characters - before heading inside.

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, who attempted to catch of glimpse of attendees from behind a barricade with her family.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • ‘Twin Peaks’ star Kyle MacLachlan left ‘reeling’ by cliff-hanger ‘What year is this?’ ending

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Spoiler alert: This story contains spoilers for Twin Peaks: The Return. As far as endings go, Kyle MacLachlan is “still reeling” from the final line of Twin Peaks: The Return – “What year is this?” The third season revival, which recently wrapped and is now available to stream in its entirety on CraveTV, came 26 years after co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost’s bizarre police procedural was abruptly cancelled following its second season. Source
  • Montreal transit authority won't display ballet company's bloody promotional ad

    Entertainment CTV News
    Montreal's transit authority has nixed an advertisement promoting Les Grands Ballets Canadiens latest show, saying it incites violence. The promotional image, which depicts a dancer covered in blood with a spike in her foot, is for the company's first show of the year, "Stabat Mater. Source
  • Late Frank Zappa back on tour as hologram

    Entertainment CTV News
    Experimental rocker Frank Zappa, prolific in his life and even in death through a string of posthumous releases, is heading back on tour as a hologram. Zappa's family trust on Thursday announced that the hologram concerts would begin in 2018 and hoped the resurrected Zappa would jam again with some of his still-living collaborators including metal guitar virtuoso Steve Vai. Source
  • Jake Gyllenhaal's Stronger explores recovery of Boston Marathon bomb survivor Jeff Bauman

    Entertainment CBC News
    How does it feel to have Jake Gyllenhaal play you in the major new movie? "It was surreal," says Jeff Bauman, the real-life inspiration for Gyllenhaal's latest film Stronger. In theatres Friday, the drama based on Bauman's memoir of the same name tells the story of his recovery after losing his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Source
  • Lady Gaga says being famous is 'not all it's cracked up to be'

    Entertainment CTV News
    Lady Gaga has written an emotional message to fans to mark of the release of her new Netflix documentary. In a note posted to Twitter on Thursday, Gaga writes that the film reveals "that fame is not all it's cracked up to be. Source
  • Christian singer Natalie Grant undergoing thyroid surgery

    Entertainment CTV News
    NASHVILLE -- Contemporary Christian singer Natalie Grant will undergo thyroid surgery to remove tumors and will cancel shows between mid-October and November to recover. Grant posted a video message on Facebook on Thursday explaining that doctors had been monitoring several tumors or nodules on her thyroid for years and that she will have half of her thyroid removed on Oct. Source
  • Movie reviews: 'Battle of the Sexes' feel-good film that takes sexism to task

    Entertainment CTV News
    BATTLE OF THE SEXES: 3 STARS “Battle of the Sexes” is undoubtedly a sports movie. The climatic tennis match between Wimbledon triple-winner Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and the women’s tennis world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) takes up much of the last half hour of the film, but it isn’t strictly a sports drama. Source
  • 'I have difficulty with the hero thing:' Jeff Bauman on Boston Marathon bombing film Stronger

    Entertainment CBC News
    How does it feel to have Jake Gyllenhaal play you in the major new movie? "It was surreal," says Jeff Bauman, the real-life inspiration for Gyllenhaal's latest film Stronger. In theatres Friday, the drama based on Bauman's memoir of the same name tells the story of his recovery after losing his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Source
  • Jimmy Kimmel transforms health debate, shows comedy's new role

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YOR-- If the latest Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare doesn't work, it may become known as the Jimmy Kimmel Non-Law. The comic's withering attacks this week have transformed the debate over the bill (sponsored by Sens. Source
  • Ryan Gosling to host 'SNL' premiere with Jay-Z as musical guest

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - "Saturday Night Live" says it's kicking off its 43rd season Sept. 30 with guest host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z. For Gosling's encore host appearance he'll be on hand to promote his new film, "Blade Runner 2049. Source