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Star Wars Premiere Honours Carrie Fisher

The Force took over the Shrine Auditorium near downtown Los Angeles, as stars and filmmakers of Star Wars: The Last Jedi came together for the first screening of the eighth instalment of the Lucasfilm franchise.

Giant AT-M6 walkers flanked the entrance to the red carpet, as stars such as Daisey Ridley, Mark Hamill, Laura Dern, Lupita Nyong'o and others arrived and posed for pictures with fans on Saturday night.

John Boyega had built suspense about whether he would make the premiere, tweeting earlier on Saturday that bad weather had kept him from flying out of Atlanta.

The Last Jedi picks up where 2015's The Force Awakens left off, with Rey reaching the planet on which Luke Skywalker had been holed up, away from the war waging between the First Order and The Resistance.

Ridley, who plays Rey, teased on the red carpet that her character gets "enough" screen time. "I'm not going to lie, I'm proud of myself," Ridley said. "It's nice seeing something that you worked so hard on, that it's tangible, that you can measure. Because I'm like, 'I was stronger and that fight's cool'.'"

Carrie Fisher, who unexpectedly died late last year, was ever-present at the premiere, featured prominently in film posters lining the red carpet. The iconic actress, who first portrayed Princess Leia in 1977, was able to finish filming her part as General Leia Organa before her death.

"I'd like to dedicate tonight to Carrie," writer-director Rian Johnson said before the screening began. "Let's have a blast for Carrie."

Initial reaction to the film was overwhelmingly positive, giving hardcore fans plenty to chew on after an action-packed film that struck many notes.

"It's very complex and very intimate and very emotional," said producer Ram Bergman. "There's a lot of movie.... It's one of those movies, you're going to say, I need to digest it, and I want to go see it again because there's just a lot of it. I think the movie is dense. It's complex, but it's a fun ride. It truly is a Rian Johnson movie."

An elaborate after-party immediately followed the screening, with the Shrine's Expo Hall decked out to resemble a Canto Bight casino. Storm Troopers patrolled the area, stopping to take pictures with partygoers.

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