The Force awakened this week as JJ Abrams’ Star Wars reboot was greeted with applause inside Clapham’s very own Millennium Falcon.
Clapham Picturehouse, decked out as Han Solo’s much-loved ship, seemed in a galaxy far far away during the eagerly anticipated 12.01am yesterday showing of the seventh installment in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens.
Kylo Ren and Princess Leia manned the doors and sold Darth Maul-ed wine at the intergalactic bar while eager fans posed for photographs with a bin disguised as R2D2 in what was a perfect setting for the new film.
A RIGHT ROYAL BARTENDER: Princess Leia pours a drink for one filmgoer
The Clapham cinema sold out four screens and with events like this across the country, the $2.5billion Disney paid George Lucas in 2012 is beginning to look like good value.
The film itself did not disappoint. With unprecedented levels of hype surrounding the first Star Wars film in a decade, it had a lot to live up to, but it was funny and enthralling in equal measure, with just enough overt nostalgia to make Darth Vader himself weepy.
EXCITED THEY ARE! Keen fans at the midnight screening
Debutants John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, who play Finn and Rey, complement the grizzly return of Harrison Ford as Hans Solo and Abrams’ Chewbacca seems to have spent ten years in drama school as the Wookie almost stole the show with his frequent hilarious interventions.
Ford’s role is no cameo and he retains the cynical humour that endeared him to audiences of the original trilogy, Boyega too is brilliantly comical and convincing as a Stormtrooper disillusioned with the Third Reich-esque First Order.
NO DROIDS ALLOWED! Fans had the chance to drink in Star Wars themed surroundings
Daisy Ridley, whose previous ‘big break’ came in BBC’s Casualty, is exceptional as heroine Rey, dragging the occasionally hapless Finn along, while the Rey, Solo, Chewbacca, Finn foursome works better than any since A New Hope.
On the dark side Adam Driver as Kylo Ren is far more than a rehashed Darth Vader.
IN A CINEMA FAR FAR AWAY: Clapham Picturehouse decked out the interior with space kit
He is haphazardly human and far more vulnerable than his masked predecessor and his master ‘Snoke’, played by Andy Serkis (of Gollum fame), remains ominously absent throughout.
The icing on the cake is droid BB-8. Even the most optimistic fan could not have envisaged a fitting successor to R2D2, but Abrams’ robot is a spherical bundle of laughs, smiles and uniquely Star Wars moments of droid-heroism.
SPACESHIP: Fans had the chance to sit inside the Millennium Falcon
For hardcore and casual fans alike this is two hours very, very well spent and will join George Lucas’ original trilogy in being films we can watch, watch, and watch again.
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