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Star Wars The Force Awakens premiere - From Belfast to London, stormtroopers hit the red carpet for European premieres

By David Mercer

Published 17/12/2015

People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
People out at the Moviehouse, Dublin Rd to see the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wednesday 16th Dec 2015. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Hollie Walsh and Hamish Calvert. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Cameron and Frazer Mack with Chris McConnell and Nathanaiel and Alex Mack. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Gregg Nicholl, Brian and Jen Pacer and Kevin Lenaghan. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Kylo Rem [in black] and a Biker scout. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Kylo Rem [in black] and a Biker scout. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Declan Burns,Johnny McCoy,Caoimhin Wallace,Siobhan Keatings and Brian McCoyle .Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Cameron and James Wright with Jordan Anderson,Curtis Bowmen and Abbie Walker. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Leo Hunter,Steve Brule,Brock Bergum and Mitchell Pearson with Matt Alex Patton. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Maureen Martin and Philip Green. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured is Maureen Martin as Princess Leia. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Emma Graham and Fiona Butler. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/12/2015 Hundreds of Star Wars fans queue outside the Movie House on the Dublin road in order to see the latest film " The Force Awakens". Pictured are Paul Lennon,Stuart Kerr,Philip McShane,James Kirk and Peter Lennon. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press

Stormtroopers, Ewoks and Wookies flooded the streets of London last night as the long-awaited instalment of the space phenomenon Star Wars finally arrived in the UK.

Creator George Lucas said being at the European premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in London was like coming home.

Lucas, who created the franchise in 1977, told red carpet host Alex Zane: "All of the premieres have always been in London. It's like coming home to an event we've done for the last 40 years but this was the biggest by far."

He joined a host of stars including the new director, JJ Abrams, and old and new cast members at London's Leicester Square.

Abrams said he was struck every day while filming by how lucky he was to be working on the movie.

Abrams directed, wrote and co-produced the film and praised newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, saying: "These are two incredible actors, watching them together is amazing."

Harrison Ford, who reprises his role as intrepid traveller and smuggler Han Solo, said "it feels good" to play the character again.

When asked if he had a message for fans, he said: "I hope they enjoy the movie. I think it's a worthy effort. I'm very proud of it, thank you."

Newcomer Ridley, who plays Rey, shouted out to her fans on the red carpet, saying: "May the force be with all of you."

She said being at the premiere was "particularly special because I'm from London, it's good to be home".

Darth Vader leads his stormtroopers through Leicester Square for the European premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Darth Vader leads his stormtroopers through Leicester Square for the European premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
George Lucas attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London
Daisy Ridley attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London
Mark Hamill attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London
John Boyega attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London
Noel Gallagher and daughter Anais attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London
Actors in various character costumes including Chewbacca (centre) arriving to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London

British actor Boyega, who plays Finn in the new movie, could not contain his excitement at being in London.

"I'm a boy from Peckham and I'm in a Star Wars movie," he enthused to vlogger Jim Chapman.

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, said he was overwhelmed.

"It never gets old, it's hard to believe the excitement after all of these years."

The first "stars" of the film to arrive were droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, who ambled down the red carpet.

Critics have hailed the film as a tour de force to rival the original trilogy.

The film - on general release today - has already made UK box office history, selling more than half a million tickets for its opening week at one cinema chain alone. Fans at the first UK screenings will get a head start over the US, where the movie is not released until Friday.

Belfast Telegraph

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