Star Wars: The Force Awakens – first reactions

The first reviews for Star Wars: The Force Awakens are in and the verdict is… the force is strong with this one.

The film debuted last night (Monday) at the Dolby Theatre in LA where celebrities and critics rubbed shoulders on the red carpet.

Stars of the film in attendance included John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie.

Other A-listers who bagged money-can’t-buy tickets included Steven Spielberg, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jason Bateman, Gina Rodriguez, Elizabeth Banks, Calista Flockhart, Rob Lowe, Geena Davis, Jaime King and Jennifer Grey.

There’s an embargo on in-depth reviews until tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, but attendees took to social media to tweet their views and there was a lot of love for the much-anticipated blockbuster.

Some of those who have already seen the film went so far as to claim it is the best Star Wars film since 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

There’s no pleasing everyone, though, and one or two had some minor quibbles – though, on the whole, it looks like fans won’t be disappointed by director JJ Abrams’ new vision of Star Wars.

Even creator George Lucas, who sold his Star Wars franchise to Disney and had little involvement in developing follow-up film Episode VII: The Force Awakens, has given the thumbs-up to Abrams’ movie.

According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, “he really liked it”.

Speaking to the Hollywood reporter, Kennedy said the process had been tough for Lucas, “watching this go on without his direct involvement. At the same time, he really wanted to step away.”

She added: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about George is it’s that he’s never, ever held back. Having him 100 percent on board is up to him and he can’t do that unless he’s running everything.”

With just two more sleeps until it’s released this Thursday in Edinburgh cinemas, you can find out for yourself if Star Wars: The Force Awakens lives up to the enormous hype.