Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Fans in the bleachers
Bitterly cold winds, unprecedented security checks, long lines at metal detectors and thousands of screaming
fans all combined to make the Star Wars The Force Awakens world premiere the biggest and most costly ever held.
  I booked into the venerable Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to avoid battling the traffic and navigating around the streets that had been shut down, but even getting across Hollywood Boulevard to the famed Chinese Theatre proved something of a problem.
  But I can't review the film yet or say what I thought of it because Disney has imposed a strict embargo until Wednesday.
  It took three cinemas showing the movie simultaneously and a quarter-of-a-mile-long red carpet and party held in a massive tent-turned Star Wars museum to launch the latest episode of the Star Wars saga.

  Thousands of fans---many in costume and some who had waited for more than a week --- lined the barricades and jammed the bleachers along the blocked-off Hollywood Boulevard to cheer and scream as the stars arrived at the foot of the longest red carpet in the world.
The Star Wars cast on stage
   All the stars of the movie, along with many other celebrities were there to walk through the tented tunnel lined with stormtroopers, screens showing scenes from previous Star War movies and models of the Star Wars characters.
  The movie was nearly 90 minutes late starting but no one seemed to mind and the audience roared and cheered with applause as the words "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away" scrolled across the screen.
    The Force Awakens marks the beginning of a whole new and vibrant life for the Star Wars franchise as Disney plans to churn out a new film every two or three years indefinitely. It plans to use Star Wars on its TV networks and Star Wars attractions exist in four Disney parks and more are planned, especially in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
   George Lucas, who sold his Lucasfilm, which includes the Star Wars franchise, to Disney for four billion dollars, said: “I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me. I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”
Harrison Ford does  a selfie and (top right) John Boyega and Daisy Ridley


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