The Los Angeles Times was inside the the world premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.' Now that our "Star Wars" team members have watched the movie and gotten their phones back, the first impressions are rolling in from all over.
Earlier, we gave you a play-by-play of the red carpet, which included such highlights as J.J. Abrams embracing George Lucas, Joseph Gordon-Levitt dressed as Yoda, Rainn Wilson dressed up as a #ChubbyJedi, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan’s hints about the movie, Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew rocking a lightsaber cane, a very grateful Gwendoline Christie and a whole lot of Stormtroopers.
Onscreen and off, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" world premiere was a night of both nostalgia, looking back with reverence to the much-loved original Star Wars trilogy, and of looking forward, as the franchise shifts to a new generation.
Cue the Cantina Band: It's post-party time
Wolfgang Puck knows from after parties — after all, he's the guy who caters the Oscars' annual Governors Ball. And tonight Wolfgang is telling people on the ground that he cooked for 3,500 "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" premiere guests.
The party is going on where the red carpet launched the event, out on Hollywood Boulevard. Some kids are building BB-8 toys and others are playing the Star Wars: Battlefront game. And it's time for dessert!
Of course, after the end credits rolled and before hitting the party, people had to reclaim their cellphones.
And it wasn't only kids who were making the droids ...
Wait, so was it good, or...?
And our first celeb endorsement...
The 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' livestream — a little bit later than 'live'
Missed watching the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" world premiere in real time? Here's the event in its entirety, thanks to the official Star Wars website .
Those who don't have an hour and 47 minutes to spend on the lead-up to "The Force Awakens," however, can keep reading here for the highlights ...
Uh oh, do we have a diva on our hands already?
And we have our first "meh":
Spoiler alert: The main players
The force is strong with this one
OK, so it's been only 15 minutes since the movie let out. But so far, the response out of the premiere has been unanimously positive.
They liked it! They really liked it!
ALERT: The movie has ended!
And women apparently represent in it.
John Dykstra, considered one of the true forefathers of visual effects, won his first Oscar for the original "Star Wars." Dykstra worked on the film as the special photographic-effects supervisor. He spoke to Hero Complex in 2009 as part of a series on the 'Wizards of Hollywood.'
Don't have time to watch the first six movies before stepping into the theater to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"? No worries.
We are pleased to present Every single L.A. Times 'Star Wars' movie review from 1977 to 2005 , starting off with a taste from our review of the original — which the late Charles Champlin called "the year’s most razzle-dazzling family movie, an exuberant and technically astonishing space adventure."
Click the headline above or the link below to read more about what "The Force Awakens" has to live up to — or might find easy to surpass. (Hint: Critic Kenneth Turan dubbed one film's main relationship, "High School Confidential in Outer Space." We're looking at you, "Episode II— Attack of the Clones."
Fox throws shade at Disney
Tell us how you really feel, 20th Century Fox!
Maybe the social media folks over on the Fox lot thought no one would catch this sassy tweet, since they put it out while thousands of industry elite were at the "Star Wars" premiere. But we did.
For non movie-biz types, here's the translation. Fox is the studio that released all six "Star Wars" movies made by George Lucas between 1977 and 2005. But in 2012, Walt Disney Co. acquired the filmmaker's Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and decided to revive the franchise. That's why Disney is the studio releasing J.J. Abrams' "The Force Awakens" in theaters this weekend.
Clearly, however, breaking up is hard to do.
Irvin Kershner directed the acclaimed 1980 sequel to George Lucas’ blockbuster “Star Wars." "The Empire Strikes Back" remains a favorite of many die-hard fans, but at the time Kershner was reluctant to take the job.
Kershner died five years ago at 87.
And now, a musical interlude ... the No. 1 hits awaken
The "Star Wars" saga and its premieres have spanned 38 years in real life, from May 1977 to December 2015. And just like special-effects technology, popular music has undergone a major overhaul over the decades.
So while we're waiting for more from the Hollywood premiere, send yourself back in the day to check out what was No. 1 on the Billboard 100 the week each of the "Star Wars" movies hit theaters.
"Star Wars," May 25, 1977: "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder
"The Empire Strikes Back," June 20, 1980: "Funkytown" by Lipps, Inc.
"Return of the Jedi," May 25, 1983: "Let's Dance" by David Bowie
"Attack of the Clones," May 16, 2002: "Foolish" by Ashanti
"Phantom Menace," May 19, 1999: "No Scrubs" by TLC
"Revenge of the Sith," May 19, 2005: "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani
"The Force Awakens," Dec. 14, 2015: "Hello" by Adele
But here's the thing: Back in 1977, there's one gem that didn't hit No. 1 until well after "Star Wars" opened.
Some of you know what we're talking about — it's "Star Wars Theme / Cantina Band," by MECO, which was No. 1 the weeks of Oct. 1 and Oct. 8 of that year. Because that is how big of a deal the orginal "Star Wars" was.
Starwars.com has an entire recipes section devoted to food inspired by or shaped as "Star Wars" characters. Stormtrooper butter, for example, comes in pumpkin spice, cranberry orange, garlic herb and Sriracha lime.
If you're thinking of throwing a "Star Wars Rebels" party, there's a guide for that too.
In a 2009 interview with The Times' Hero Complex, Mark Hamill said that when this vintage shot was taken, cast members had no idea what was in store for them.
Ah, the sweet sound of (temporary) silence...
Gwendoline Christie: Phasma's got skills, people
"I feel really privileged that I was cast in this role," Gwendoline Christie said on the red carpet. More than that, she said, she feels really encouraged that Lucasfilm and Disney listened to fans of the franchise and, she thinks, delivered what they wanted.
"Origins have been honored, but they've been brought up to date and provide a better mirror of our world today."
Remember, Christie plays Captain Phasma, the franchise's first female villain. And how is Phasma in battle, you ask?
"She is a captain," the "Game of Thrones" actress said in the livestreamed interview. "You ain't no captain for nothing."
Frank Oz — so experienced, so wise he is
Frank Oz credits a couple of buddies with starting him on the path that led to the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" red carpet in Hollywood.
"I look back, I have no idea how I got here," he said in an interview livestreamed from the event. "I just worked for Jim, and Jim gave me these opportunities, and then George gave me these opportunities...."
That'd be Jim Henson and George Lucas, natch, and Oz is, of course, known as the voice of Jedi master Yoda.
"I love these characters that are so experienced, so wise, yet they still want the last candy in the dish," Oz said. "Look at the Dalai Lama ... he giggles all the time."
(Frank, we hope you got a load of Joseph Gordon-Levitt tonight. Giggles incarnate.)
Less than two hours to go
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who are you wearing? Um, Yoda
In a 2010 interview with Hero Complex , Gary Kurtz, the film's producer, explained how he first knew something special was going on:
If you need to kill time as the movie runs
Stay with us for instant reaction from our reporters inside watching the film. Official running time of the film is 2 hours and 12 minutes.
Rainn Wilson isn't alone anymore
How to get inside
Actually, nobody's seen Hayden Christensen yet
An arrival photo of the actor was tweeted around, but it's actually an image of him at a different event -- several years ago. He hasn't yet made an appearance on this red carpet. Maybe he's not excited about how "Star Wars" fans feel about the prequels.
Lawrence Kasdan leaks: The new film is 'really goofy'
"The Force Awakens" is screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan's third "Star Wars" effort, and he seems to find the third time quite charming.
"I'm really happy with it, and I think it's full of surprises, and really goofy," he said in a livestreamed interview from the red carpet.
"When we started out, J.J. [Abrams] and I said, 'Let 's see if we can make it delightful.' And I said to him, 'We've got to like it when we're with it.' And I think we did that."
The two of them hiked in places all over the world and recorded their conversations. But they weren't quite hush-hush all through the process.
"We were reckless," Kasdan said. "We were in restaurants and cafes and we were yelling things like, 'Han should do this!' We were not careful."
And he'd probably be pleased to know this:
J.J. Abrams has his eye on one moon in particular
J.J. Abrams knows which "Star Wars" planet he'd like to inhabit, but he has a condition.
"I think Endor is beautiful," he said in a red carpet interview, "and if there was a little ewok-free zone — I'm not saying I hate ewoks, but you want to choose when you see ewoks.
"If it was all ewoks all the time, it might get a little grating."
He was also concerned about the premiere being grating for the neighbors.
"It's very surreal," Abrams said of the massive event. "I've never seen this kind of thing ... it's insane. I feel very guilty for this community — this neighborhood must hate us."
Perhaps a few free tickets left under local doormats? Just sayin' ...
Welcome (kind of)
Look who decided to show up
Someone get Leia a coffee
But no rush, apparently.
Photos from the red carpet
Los Angeles Times photographer Jay L. Clendenin is on the scene snapping pics on the "Star Wars" red carpet. Stormtroopers, Peter Mayhew's lightsaber cane and new droid favorite BB-8 are just part of the fun. See the full photo gallery >
You could say that
Will Gary Fisher grace the red carpet?
Sure, everyone’s wondering what’s up with Luke Skywalker, but the pressing question on most “Star Wars” fans’ minds today is: Will Gary Fisher attend “The Force Awakens” premiere?
If you’ve been living in a hole, Gary Fisher is actress Carrie Fisher’s French bulldog. He is little, black and has a tongue that will not stay inside his mouth. And he has also been a frequent guest on the “Star Wars” publicity tour alongside his mama. Last week, during a stop at “Good Morning America,” Gary even received his own chair. Carrie told “GMA’s” Amy Robach that the pup has already seen the film, though she wasn’t sure of his review: “He panted all the way through it. I think it was too loud.”
OK, so maybe Gary won’t watch the movie again tonight. He does have to rest up for the British publicity tour later this week. But that doesn’t mean he might not trot down the red carpet. And if he does, what will he be wearing? A Petco tux? A bedazzled collar from Petco? Perhaps something more high-end from a luxury boutique like Fifi & Romeo or Pussy & Pooch?
Josh Gad has a golden ticket
That's lucky, because here's what he gets to avoid:
Cheer up, George!
Harrison Ford, a voice of experience
Harrison Ford has 38 years of "Star Wars" experience, but he said on the red carpet Monday that he didn't give the newbie cast members any tips on working in the franchise. "They wouldn't believe me anyway," he said in an interview livestreamed from the premiere.
Anyway, it's a different game these days.
"In the '70s nobody knew what to anticipate, nobody had ever seen anything like it," he said. "Now we have to live up to what the first films delivered."
Rainn Wilson gets into character
The princess is getting close
And her daughter is ready to hit the red carpet.
Cold night, hot ticket
The premiere is livestreaming online
StarWars.com has four camera angles on the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Hollywood premiere: arrivals, fashion, a tower view and the show that can be seen via Verizon. Check it out at StarWars.com.
OK, not everyone is at the premiere
Traffic in Hollywood: It's the work of the dark side
Luke ... she was your foster mother ...
The man who would be — and has been — C-3PO
Peter Mayhew rocks a lightsaber cane
Darren Criss of 'Glee' gets in X-wing fighting form
Bored while waiting for the big stars to turn up at the "Star Wars" premiere? Why not add a lightsaber to your Facebook picture?
Apparently the social media site today added a function allowing users to temporarily filter their profile pictures with "Star Wars" fun. Yeah, you won't look as cool as Adam Driver. But at least all your friends will know the force is with you.
Chewbacca in da house
Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew arrives in Hollywood. "WMR" on the tweet means it comes from Webmaster Rick, not the 7-foot-2 Mayhew himself.