The biggest stars from the galaxy far, far away came out in force for the European premiere of Rian Johnson’s blockbuster…
It is the most wonderful time of the year. For most people, this would mean Christmas has arrived, but Star Wars fans have a different perspective…for them, Christmas comes much earlier. In recent years, the festive period commences with the arrival of the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga, and this year we have been treated to a very special movie.
Writer/Director Rian Johnson, has delivered what will surely go on to be regarded as one of the finest Star Wars movies to date, and to coincide with this epic event, the stars came out in force to attend the Royal European Premiere orchestrated to take place at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall.
Following our early press screening of the movie, thefutueoftheforce.com trio, Roy Baker, Carl Roberts and yours truly, all made the trek to the historical venue to get our hands on the all-important wristbands for access to the crowd partition, where the real action takes place. Braving the cold, artic conditions of central London, we waited in line with our peers and got the true fans perspective of Lucasfilm’s stunning new project.
After a very cold two-hour wait, the red carpet was finally laid, and we were invited to take our place amongst the masses of devoted Star Wars lovers in the assigned enclosure. And then the fun began. The devoted warm up entertainer, took to the red carpet and began a fun giveaway where Lightsabers, Lego AT-M6 Walkers, Giant Praetorian Guard figures, the fantastic Star Wars shoes from our friends at Po-Zu, and Funko Pop action figures were all given away to the masses, all of whom immersed themselves in the fun.
A few moments later, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Chewbacca took to the gangway and entertained the fans with their antics, whilst First Order Stormtroopers dispersed along the length of the carpet and took up position aligning the path to the Royal Albert Hall.
But that paled in comparison to when the stars of the movie arrived to greet their adoring fans. First up, flanked by a legion of First Order Stormtroopers, General Hux himself, Domhnall Gleeson took to the red carpet to sign autographs and pose for photographs.
The Producer, Ram Bergman and writer/director Rian Johnson, followed hot on his heels and they quickly mingled with the fans, answering questions and sharing their experiences on making The Last Jedi.
Star Wars saga stalwart, Anthony Daniels, famous for his iconic role as C-3PO arrived next and quickly sparkled in front of the cameras whilst his co-star, Joonas Suotamo, the mighty Wookiee, Chewbacca entertained the fans with autographs and Wookiee impressions.
And suddenly, the crowd went crazy. Emerging from his chauffeur driven vehicle, the legendary Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself arrived on the red carpet. The Star Wars legend, leapt into action and swiftly signed autographs and posed for a series of photographs before speeding along the red carpet, where he disappeared into his press obligations. Many of the fans were bitterly disappointed by his sudden snub, but before they had time to vent their frustrations, the next vehicle arrived.
Again, the crowd went crazy as we locked eyes on the striking figure of actress Daisy Ridley. Dressed in an elegant, black, backless dress, she was glowing beneath the bright spot lights of the London skyline. At first, she disappeared into the venue…offering nothing more than a complimentary wave to her adoring fans, but she quickly re-emerged only moments later sporting a warm black coat to protect her from the sub-zero temperatures. And then, she reunited with her adoring public.
Before we could even get a glimpse of him, Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver, scurried along the red carpet and disappeared into his media commitments without even a wave for his fans. The crowd were crushed by his snub, but series newcomer Kelly Marie Tran arrived to restore the balance. Dressed in a stunning cream dress, she immersed herself in the fans’ adulation. She posed for photographs, signed autographs and refused to be hurried along by the event staff.
Laura Dern, Andy Serkis, Jimmy Vee, Benicio Del Toro and Oscar Isaac all came and went whilst Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy signed autographs for the fans, and then, to the amazement of us all, Star Wars legend Frank Oz, voice of Jedi Master Yoda, arrived on the red carpet. Hobbling on crutches, the saga icon greeted fans and praised us for our adulation, but was unable submit himself to autographs and photographs due to his affliction. But it was a delight to see the living legend in the flesh.
The striking Gwendoline Christie arrived next. Wearing an elegant, cream dress, the Captain Phasma actress afforded the fans every second she could, and credit where credit is due, she endured the cold weather conditions far longer than any of her co-stars. She was positively glowing under the luminescent lights of the gangway and was one of the true highlights of the evening.
Last, but by no means least, the excitable John Boyega arrived with his family and gave the fans the attention we craved. The actor, portraying Finn for the second time in The Last Jedi, spent an age talking to his adoring fans. He posed for pictures, signed autographs and engaged the fans far beyond his co-stars. He was a delight. A true professional, and he was celebrated as much by the crowd.
A series of interviews with the cast followed whilst Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor, Simon Pegg arrived on the red carpet to greet the fans, but his appearance signalled the end of the high-profile arrivals. And, only moments later, the stars took their seats inside the famous Royal Albert Hall as Prince’s William and Harry were chauffeured to the foot of the Stormtrooper lined staircase.
With that, the premiere came to an end and the event staff swiftly began to dismantle the set. It served as an alarm bell to the fans, who, without warning began to remove the promotional poster boards aligning the red carpet and scurried away with the enormous vinyl banners hanging from the adjoining framework of the set. It was over faster than it began, and when all was said and done the set was bare, stripped of everything of value and a great many fans went home with a genuine collector’s item.
But, in hindsight, it was a stunning event. The fans were offered a glimpse at the stars they adore and the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Last Jedi responded in kind. Adam Driver’s snub was a bitter pill to swallow, but was nothing more than a minor detraction to what was a truly stunning event.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is playing at a cinema near you from December 14th. Don’t be lured by the dark side, head down to your local cinema and embrace one of the best Star Wars sequels ever made.
May The Force Be With You