‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

  • Jordan Strauss / Invision via AP

    An attack appears to be in progress at the Los Angeles premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Saturday.

‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

By NICOLE EVATT, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stormtroopers marched the red carpet as Star Wars music blared and fans cheered Saturday at the world premiere of latest installment in the beloved space opera franchise.

The elaborate premiere for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” included a procession of Stormtroopers and a squad of elite guards clad in red armor walking the red carpet. Fans cheered, some waving stuffed Porgs, a new character being introduced in the eighth film in the core Star Wars franchise.

The procession of characters took them down a red carpet set up under a towering model of an assault vehicle and into a tented area where photos and interviews were taking place before the film’s premiere. The characters, including the droids R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8, arrived before the film’s stars.

“It’s a Star Wars movie, and the energy tonight is pretty amazing,” said a beaming Andy Serkis, who plays the villain Supreme Leader Snoke.

Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, arrived wearing a shimmering dress adorned with stars. Ridley was in good spirits, saying about her dress, “I mean, it’s just fun. It’s fun. And I feel fun. And it’s got stars on it.”

Newcomer Kelly Marie Tran wore a bright red dress with a lengthy train behind it. John Boyega, who earlier in the day tweeted that he might miss the premiere because a snowstorm had snarled travel out of Atlanta, arrived sporting a dark blue tuxedo and turtleneck.

Secrecy about the film, which before Saturday had only been screened for a select VIPs, remained in place at the premiere. Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO, told a reporter looking for details on the film, “I’m going to let you work out everything for yourself.”

“The Last Jedi,” which arrives in theaters on Dec. 15, is one of the year’s biggest releases and includes the return of Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher’s final role. Early box office projections are for the film to debut in the $200 million range for its first weekend.

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