The London premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi had slightly fewer bells and whistles compared to the all-out theme-park ride of Saturday’s Los Angeles debut, but it did have a pair of royals. Princes William and Harry strode a red carpet lined with stormtroopers, and were greeted by BB-8 who rolled up in what may have been the first-ever droid curtsy. The premiere benefited UK charity The Royal Foundation.
The Royal Albert Hall, which stands in for typical premiere venue the Leicester Square Odeon when it comes to mega-London/royal premieres, was packed to the rafters with the Star Wars faithful who watched on the big screen as the princes interacted with cast and director Rian Johnson. At the end of a receiving line, two young girls presented the princes with stormtrooper helmets (see below). Inside the theater, audience members were screaming “put it on!” although the royals did not. They cameo in the movie in full stormtrooper gear, however.
Dodgy weather conditions in Europe did not delay John Boyega’s arrival on Monday night, contrary to the snowstorm troubles and canceled flights he faced on Saturday in the U.S. Along with Boyega on stage were producers Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, Johnson, Joonas Suotamo, Anthony Daniels, Kelly Marie Tran, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver (who was greeted with some friendly boos given his character Kylo Ren is this trilogy’s new baddie), Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill.
As he did in LA, Johnson paid tribute to the late Carrie Fisher who died last year shortly after completing her role as Princess/General Leia Organa. “She would not want solemn treatment, she would want us to have a blast,” Johnson said to cheers.
The film, which has scored widely positive reviews and is 93% fresh on RT, was met with ecstatic response by attendees who broke into spontaneous applause at several points throughout.
Offshore rollout begins today, notably in France and Italy. First box office out of Paris is that the 9AM showing at the capital’s most-frequented cinema scored the biggest morning admissions of 2017. We’re waiting on word for the first 2PM screenings in Paris and will have a full box office update tomorrow. Check out our global preview here.