So, um, security was tight at Leicester Square. The men in white were not to be messed with.
The crowds stretched out as far as China Town and Piccadilly Circus. Young geeks, as well as those of a certain age, unashamedly carried their light sabres alongside rucksacks and briefcases.
Touts muttered ‘wanna buy a ticket’ as they scuttled past. Men, women and children strained their necks to catch a glimpse, via a mobile phone held aloft, of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and George Lucas. A few recognized ‘the new girl’ and the ‘black guy’ on the gigantic screens which allowed the thousands unable to get close to the red carpet to feel part of the big event.
A man without a ticket desperately tried to convince the non stormtrooper security that ‘I’m a friend of JJ’ (that’s JJ Abrams to the rest of us, the new director of the film) as they rolled their eyes at that old trick.
Children perched on parents’ shoulders and adults choked back the tears of nostalgia.
Yes, it could only be one premiere…….for a little, low budget indie about a dysfunctional family in a galaxy far, far away.
No, who am I kidding? THE biggest, bestest, most glorious blockbuster of them all was back after 30 years (true fans feign amnesia about the prequels). And it was a sight to behold. The largest and most emotion packed film premiere I’ve ever seen, it brought a busy part of London to a standstill on a mild December evening this week.
Star Wars was back!
People who had wept at the trailer finally had a chance to see the full movie. And boy did they!
In just 3 days of release it scooped $528 million globally, the biggest opening of any film ever. However, there are still millions more who haven’t seen it yet and threaten all sorts of dire things for anyone who dares give away any spoilers.
So, I’ll just say the film is part reboot, part remake, part sequel, part playing to nostalgia, part trying to establish new iconic characters part homage, part fresh start and wholly frickin’ awesome!
It’s also a true cultural phenomenon. All week, at home, work, Christmas parties, on trains and just walking down the street, I’ve heard nothing but Star Wars talk.
Go see it and join the conversation!