Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi: Hundreds of cinemas will open late tonight for first public screening

Thousands of fans expected to attend viewing, hours after cast walk red carpet at London's Royal Albert Hall

Francesca Gosling
Wednesday 13 December 2017 14:13
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The film has been described as 'superlative' by critics
The film has been described as 'superlative' by critics

Hundreds of UK cinemas will open late into the night as they welcome fans to the first public screenings of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The latest and hotly-anticipated instalment of the historic sci-fi franchise will be officially released from midnight on Thursday morning, featuring original Star Wars actor Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and the late Carrie Fisher as Leia.

Thousands of fans are expected to attend screening events through the night, just hours after cast members stepped onto the red carpet at London's Royal Albert Hall for the film's European premiere.

Among them were Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke) and John Boyega (Finn).

The Duke of Cambridge and recently-engaged Prince Harry also joined the star-studded crowd after Boyega told the Hollywood reporter they had taken on cameo roles as Stormtroopers.

Early reviews of the movie have lauded Rian Johnson's latest work - the second episode of the sequel trilogy and eighth overall - as the "best" Star Wars film to date, with many singling out Driver's return performance following his debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.

The new episode will find Rey nurturing her newly-found Jedi powers under Skywalker's guidance before mounting tensions between the Resistance and the First Order see her collaborate with Leia, Finn and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) for a laser-fuelled adventure.

One familiar face will be missed, following the death of Harrison Ford's Han Solo at the hands of own son Ben Solo in The Force Awakens.

Following its UK release on Thursday, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, will open in US cinemas on Friday.

PA

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