Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening at Clapham Picturehouse is intergalactic success – in pictures

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.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Princess Leia
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.

Star Wars The Force Awakens fans Clapham PicturehouseEXCITED 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.

Star Wars The Force Awakens no droids allowed
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.

Star Wars The Force Awakens silver sofa
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.

Star Wars The Force Awakens fans Clapham Picturehouse interior
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.

Related Articles