Director JJ Abrams’ widely anticipated “Star Wars Episode VII” first aired Monday night and the initial responses were, to the relief of fans, overwhelmingly positive.
Actress Geena Davis screamed from his seat in the second row of the balcony Dolby Theater, once the movie ended, “I loved everything about it,” she said. “Especially Rey”, referring to the newcomer Daisy Ridley.
Young stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam pilot also received applause from the audience at the Hollywood and Highland complex, where the seventh pic Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” displayed in three different theaters, while others praised “old-fashioned” Abrams approach.
Biggest reactions of the night were reserved for the filmmakers and stars of the original “Star Wars” movies. A great roar almost shook the building by Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, who, upon entering the theater, waved costumed stormtroopers and “Star Wars” fanatics along Hollywood Boulevard.
Twitter reactions poured quickly so “The Force Awakening ‘released, as expected, despite the embargo statutory Disney’ s for early Wednesday morning.
“JJ did it,” Patton Oswalt tweeted.
“It was epic, awesome and perfect,” he added Rainn Wilson, star of “The Office.”
Brett Morgan, director of Kurt Cobain documentary “Heck Set,” actually took a step further and called it “the best of success from the original.”
Among the viewers of Hollywood on Monday night attendance were Spike Lee, Matthew McConaughey, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who painted his face in full costume as Yoda.
The festivities began in earnest at 7:09 when Disney CEO Robert Iger took the stage. He remembered seeing “Star Wars” for the first time on a summer day 38 years ago. “None of this would have been possible without the pure genius, the courage, the talent, the vision of a person … George Lucas.”
Lucas, who was sitting next to Steven Spielberg to then rose to a long ovation from the crowd Dolby.
Iger also thanked Abrams, who, he said, “has made a film that even exceeded our highest expectations and dreams.”
Following Iger and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams was the last to address the crowd at Dolby. “It is an honor to be with you all in this incredibly low key event here,” he joked. “My apologies for the neighborhood.”
The director also thanked his parents, including his father, who was present. “Thanks for taking me to see Star Wars when I was 10. It was a very good decision,” he said. The director then introduced composer John Williams, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and stars of the film. The last couple leaving the stage before the screening was R2-D2 and his new companion droid BB-8.
Disney triple-sized debut closing and tenting Hollywood Boulevard and reserving three theaters, instead of just one, to accommodate guests for the world premiere. Those lucky enough to nab a ticket began to arrive early and could claim their passes from 5:00 to 6:30 pm Exhibition in the Chinese TCL, El Capitan and Dolby theaters.
The Department of the Los Angeles Police sent 50 officers to oversee the event, an implementation as large as for the Oscar.
Disney had a party after the screening under the giant tent, where fans off the Dolby theater were invited to participate in the festivities.
Premiere of the details had been largely kept in tight secret, as had been details of the seventh episode of “Star Wars” saga.
Fans had the pre-screening festivities started early. Some were gathering around the courtyard of the Chinese Theatre for over a week. Some Jedi robes made, while others dressed as storm troopers. Fans came from all over the world, including a couple from Australia who planned a “Star Wars” theme wedding with just hours before opening. Caroline Ritter and Andrew Porters were married in front of a Storm Trooper honor guard in the courtyard Chinese Theater, with a character Darth Vader walking the bride to the altar.
The debut came with enormous expectations that have been mounting since Disney acquired Lucasfilm founder George Lucas in October 2012. US $ 4 billion in cash and stock deal made Lucas the second largest non-institutional shareholder in the entertainment conglomerate. Some analysts expressed skepticism initially on the acquisition, suggesting Disney CEO Robert Iger paid too much.
But taking into public debut Friday, forecasters projected that “The Force awakening” had a shot at not only surpassing all previous episodes “Star Wars”, but perhaps surpassing “Avatar”, the animated fantasy James Cameron, whose 2800000000 $ take box office stands as the record for all time. And judging by the audience’s reaction on Monday evening, the force had indeed been awakened.