There were cheers, gasps, droid photo opportunities, casino games and more than a few standing ovations at the jam-packed world premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” last night (Saturday, December 9, 2017) in Los Angeles, which many are already praising online.
Rian Johnson, the writer and director of the eighth installment of the franchise, dedicated the night to the late Carrie Fisher, who died after filming had completed.
It was in that spirit that Johnson excitedly introduced his cast, including Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac. Hamill and composer John Williams, who Johnson called one of the “greatest living film composers” were among the few who got standing ovations.
“Let’s watch a Star Wars movie!” Johnson exclaimed as the cast took their seats, the lights dimmed and the yellow Star Wars logo and iconic scrawl appeared on screen to signal the start of the film. The enthusiastic audience laughed and cheered throughout much of the two-and-a-half-hour film. One audience member even shrieked “What?!” at a key scene deep in the film.
Formal reviews won’t be out for a few days, but journalists and others at the screening who shared their initial reactions online said “The Last Jedi” packed the adventure expected in a Star Wars film, but took it into new territory.
J.J. Abrams, who directed 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and will return to direct Episode IX said that the film was “great” and that “Rian killed it.”
“Logan” director James Mangold also praised the film’s director, calling the movie “a great chapter of a blockbuster franchise,” that also had Johnson’s “voice shining through.”
Producer Adam F. Goldberg wrote that the film made him feel like a kid again.
Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican said the film “will shatter you and then make you feel whole again.”
Many who posted online about the premiere said they were still processing the film.
“The Last Jedi,” which arrives in theaters this Friday, December 15, 2017 is one of the year’s biggest releases. Early box office projections are for the film to debut in the $200 million range for its first weekend.
Some theaters will show an advanced screening of the movie Thursday, December 14, 2017. The Rocky Top 10 in Crossville is one of those theaters. The movie will show at 7 p.m. only this Thursday, December 14, 2017 then start regular showings the following day.