The force was strong again when Harrison Ford and his original Star Wars colleagues teamed up to celebrate a landmark moment in the life of the inter-galactic franchise, accompanied by Stormtroopers and robots C-3P0 and R2-D2. Nearly four decades after the first film, the 71-year-old movie legend was joined at the world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in a movie event that took over Hollywood.
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Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are ready to fight the forces of evil again
A long stretch of Hollywood Boulevard had been closed to traffic for days ahead of the unveiling. The red carpet at TCL Chinese Theatre – which hosted the original screening in 1977 as Grauman's Chinese Theatre – was three blocks long. On Monday, the film was shown under tight security to 4,000 guests, who were fed at the afterparty by Oscars chef Wolfgang Puck.
To the excitement of millions of fans, Harrison reprises his role as Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon ship and 59-year-old Mark returns as Luke Skywalker. Carrie again portrays Princess Leia, now a general.
Carrie Fisher and daughter Billie Lourd
She looked suitably commanding in a blue gown, but without the signature bun hairstyle that has been copied by little girls the world over. There was plenty of glamour elsewhere, however, with the appearance of new recruits Lupita N'yongo, Gwendoline Christie and Daisy Ridley. Oscar-winning actress Lupita dazzled in a long silver sequinned affair, while Daisy was ethereal in white.
Fans turned up in full costume
Meanwile, director and writer JJ Abrams was seen embracing orginal creator George Lucas. JJ said of the latest movie in the series that "it's a film about families and what one generation leaves behind another generation has to deal with.
R2-D2 and C3-PO walk the red carpet
"I don't look at the things I do from a vantage point of putting a stamp on it, I'm trying to service the master of the stories and the characters."
Lupita Nyong'o stars as digitally animated pirate Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens
What seemed like an army of celebrity fans also turned out, including newlyweds Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Banks and Rob Lowe.
West Wing star Rob seemed to sum up opinion about the new instalment when he tweeted later: "There's a new hero in town, in a movie that DELIVERS. Cried like a baby, whooped like a teen! #StarWarsForceAwakens."
But it was really Harrison that the fans had camped out for days to greet. Despite the anticipation, the veteran actor, who had wife Calista Flockhart on his arm, was on typically laid back, laconic form, joking: "It's not my fault, we can blame it on JJ. I just work here".