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It's galactic glee from the film critics

The first people to see the new Star Wars movie are leaving the screening with good news for loyal fans of the franchise.

It is one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year and fans have remained cautiously optimistic about Episode VII - The Force Awakens after being disappointed by the string of prequels.

While reviews are embargoed until December 16, some audience members in the premiere were unable to resist sharing their thoughts on Twitter.

Adam B Vary, a reporter for Buzzfeed, tweeted: "Rest easy: The Force Awakens is 100% Star Wars, and something new. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac: welcome."

Rebecca Keegan, a film writer for the Los Angeles Times, wrote: "Story, characters, design, humour - Star Wars fans, this is the movie you're looking for."

She also reported that women were well represented in the film, which stars British actresses Daisy Ridley and Gwendoline Christie, as well as Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o.

She wrote: "Among its many wonderful qualities, Star Wars: The Force Awakens passes the Bechdel test."

The Hollywood Reporter executive editor Matthew Belloni wrote: "Star Wars premiere just letting out now. A LOT of smiling faces."

Documentary director Brett Morgen, best known for Montage of Heck, about Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, wrote: "Force Awakens might be the best blockbuster since the original."

He added: "Force Awakens delivers on every level.

"Lucas and Spielberg in the house tonight. DO NOT READ ANY REVIEWS. Experience it fresh."

Steven Zeitchik, an arts and entertainment writer for the Los Angeles Times, praised the retro feel of the film, writing: "From comedy to costumes, fights to FX to overall feel, JJ Abrams has created a thoroughly old-fashioned movie #StarWarsForceAwakens."

The Force Awakens premieres in London on December 15 and is released on December 17.

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