The seventh episode of the popular sci-fi saga won over fans
globally after months of secrecy surrounding the film, billed as
the biggest movie release of the year.
Few details on the J.J. Abrams-directed picture have been
released, except some broad character outlines in the run-up to
this week's release.
As reviews were published on Wednesday following an embargo,
cast and crew relished the positive feedback at the movie's
European premiere in London after first hearing from the critics
while traveling from Los Angeles, where "The Force Awakens"
premiered on Monday.
"We were just getting ready to land and started looking at the
reviews coming in and it was pretty exciting," producer Kathleen
Kennedy told Reuters.
"There is nothing better than working really hard ... like we
have on something that has such huge expectation and have it
being well received. ... I was sitting behind J.J. Abrams and he
kept turning around (saying) 'listen to this.' ... We were
The critical receipt to work done revitalising a franchise that
began in 1977 and whose latest film came out 10 years ago was a
"huge relief", Kennedy added.
Veteran "Star Wars" actor Anthony Daniels, known for his C-3PO
character, said the reviews reflected work done filming.
"It sort of mirrors what I felt on the set because the
atmosphere was so exciting, so loving, so full of fun ... it
didn't matter what job anyone was doing, everybody felt good to
be there," he said.
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John Boyega, who plays troubled Stormtrooper Finn, said he had not
yet read reviews but was "glad to hear there's positive feedback".
"I'm now fixated on the fans having a good time and having positive
feedback also," he said.
"Star Wars" old hand Mark Hamill who reprises his role as Luke
Skywalker, was happy the story was finally coming out.
"Secrecy is agonizing, it's not fun," he said. "They're not trying
to tease anyone they're just trying to keep the surprises for the
movies instead of letting it out all on the internet."
Newcomer Daisy Ridley, who portrays scavenger Rey, welcomed the
reviews, but said there was one audience's views she was still
"I think it's wonderful that ... everyone's work has been
appreciated," she said. "I just want my family to like it."
(Reporting by Francis Maguire and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Writing by
Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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