Droids rolled down a blue carpet and stormtroopers kept order at the world premiere on Monday of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”, the ninth and final movie episode in the sci-fi fable of a celebrated Jedi master.
Walt Disney Co closed off an entire city block in the center of Hollywood to host the celebrity-studded debut screening of the highly-anticipated film, which opens for the general public in theaters around the world on Thursday.
Staff waving glowing light sabers guided premiere attendees, among them “Star Wars” royalty Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill, to a ceremonial blue carpet under a large tent, outfitted to resemble a spaceship hangar beneath a star-lit sky. Replicas of three X-wing Starfighters dangled overhead.
Actor Harrison Ford, whose Hans Solo character died in the 2015 installment “The Force Awakens,” joined the celebration, as did Adam Driver who plays Solo’s progeny turned knight of the Dark Side, Kylo Ren. Other A-listers invited as guests included directors Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee, and actress Frances McDormand.
“Well, this is terrifying,” director J.J. Abrams said as he introduced the movie inside the packed Dolby Theatre.
“Nothing brings people together quite like Star Wars.”
“Rise of Skywalker” caps a blockbuster film series that ranks as the second highest-grossing movie franchise of all time, with more than $9.2 billion in ticket sales.
It concludes a story that began 42 years ago in 1977, when filmmaker George Lucas introduced a young hero named Luke Skywalker (Hamill) and delighted audiences with a galaxy of metallic robots called droids, a race of tall, furry warriors known as Wookiees and a host of other eclectic characters.