Review: Northern Rivers comes out in full Force for premiere
NORTHERN Rivers audiences filled cinema rooms in Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore on Wednesday night and Thursday morning for the premiere of Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
The first surprise while queuing to enter the cinema was the average age of the crowd: it was mostly teenagers and twenty-something groups of friends, people who would have not been born when Star Wars - A New Hope screened for the first time in 1978.
People carrying light sabres, Jedi-hooded fans and even more than one Princess Leia lookalike hurried to their seat and filled up cinema rooms in what has been considered a world record at the box office.
With an estimated US$100m in ticket pre-sales for the release of the film, revenue has already reached half of the US$200m spent on the production budget.
Star Wars Episode II - Revenge of the Sith, took in 2005 US$108 million during its opening weekend in the USA, so this latest instalment of the franchise is expected to perform much better than that in the box office.
After a couple of movie trailers, the lights when out in the cinemas not long after midnight and the silver logo of film production company LucasFilm (owned by Star Wars creator George Lucas) appeared on screen to cheers of excitement in more than one cinema.
A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) had begun.
Audiences cheered throughout the film when loved characters appeared on screen, such as Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia, known in this film as General Morgana (Carrie Fisher).
Is this a good movie? Yes, it is. It's arguably the best of the franchise.
The Force Awakens sees the Star Wars movies go back to its original format, with plenty of human (or so) stories, comedy, but it's also packed with action, a masked villain and plenty of deep space sequences.
The Force Awakens is a film on its own, so watching the previous six films is not necessary.
If you are a fan of the franchise, you will not be disappointed.
Star Wars - The Force Awakens, is out now in Ballina, Byron Bay, Kyogle and Lismore in 2D and 3D.