STAR WARS fans hailed the trailer for the latest instalment in the franchise as “spectacular”, with plenty of drama to keep moviegoers on the edge of their seats as they await the full release.
As people packed into the main hall at the Anaheim Convention Centre in California for a Star Wars Celebration which featured director JJ Abrams and some of the cast members, Brits enjoyed a livestream of the event in London.
Die-hard fans were treated to a clip featuring X-Wing battles, the Millennium Falcon in action, the wreckage of a star destroyer and a first look at Harrison Ford as Han Solo.
Ford could not attend the event as he is still recovering after crash-landing his plane last month, but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said the veteran actor is resting and getting well at home.
Cast newcomers Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega made a surprise appearance at the event alongside regulars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels and Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew.
Abrams, who is editing of the film which he has described as a western and a fairy tale, said he had focused on making the sets for the new movie as real as possible.
“The thing that struck me ... is how real you knew and felt Star Wars was when you first saw A New Hope,” he said.
“You want it to be legitimate. You want it to be authentic. Building as much as we could was really the mandate.”
Solo’s declaration: “Chewie, we’re home,” at the end of the trailer drew screams and applause from the US audience, which included James Allen from Suffolk.
“The footage showed us everything we need to know about the film’s vision, but nothing about what the film is actually about,” said the 22-year-old.
The thing that struck me ... is how real you knew and felt Star Wars was when you first saw A New Hope.JJ Abrams
“It was a very well-made trailer and worth the 24-hour wait.”
Fans also aired their delight on Twitter - with some claiming it easily beat any drama in last night’s political debate.
Sam Harris from Bath said: “I mean I’m all for uk politics, but that Star Wars trailer though... “
Lecturer Val Nolan tweeted: “I gather there’s a Leaders’ Debate going on in the UK. Is there a Q&A afterwards? Will someone ask what they think of the Star Wars trailer?”
Another tweeter described the clip as “spectacular”.
“Can we talk just how spectacular the new #StarWars teaser trailer is? How we squeal like little girls at the end? *melts with glee*”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is due for worldwide release on December 18.