Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Los Angeles, California
December 14, 2015
|Entrance to the red carpet tent|
Tent set up days before the premiere:
We were told to meet at the TCL Chinese Theatre by 6am the morning of the premiere at which time we would be escorted to our assigned viewing location. There were plenty of rumors of what would be happening, and I had my doubts about most of them particularly considering the last minute nature of the entire thing. It was very cold that morning, but I did get a bit warmed up from taking all of my belongings to the car. The premiere was actually going to be using the 3 largest theaters in the immediate area, which are the Dolby, the El Capitan, and the TCL Chinese Theatres.
|Kylo Ren's lightsaber setup at the red carpet.|
|Anakin/Luke Skywalker's lightsaber at the red carpet|
|This sign being moved to the side of the tent.|
We were escorted to our area between 6:30 and 7am, and the route took us west on Hollywood Boulevard to La Brea where we crossed Hollywood and came back west on Hollywood to our location. Just before our area, we had our IDs checked against a list, had our bags searched and walked through a metal detector. We were given silver wristbands which would identify us as being permitted in the viewing area. I won’t go into a lot of the complaining, but several people were not happy we weren’t placed in the bleachers (which were on the north side of the street), and also because we were told we had to be there by 6am, but we were later told we could be there by 2pm). I wasn’t upset as NOTHING was promised except an area in which to see the red carpet arrivals. The premiere had been set up in a way which was extremely no fan-friendly. There was a very, very tiny area of the red carpet which was not inside the tents.
|Line members doing press interviews|
|More press interviews|
It was extremely cold and windy and our viewing area was in the shade. Around mid-morning, we were told we going to be admitted into the premiere and the after-party, and we would need to take all unnecessary items back to our cars. A few of us had gone back and grabbed blankets when we realized we could come and go, and it was so freaking cold! There were press outlets coming to us to do interviews, which was fun since we were just sitting and waiting. There was one lady I particularly remember because she wasn’t part of our group and had come into our barricaded area. The gentleman working security asked to see her wristband, and though I couldn’t hear her, she shook her head, but then proceeded to argue with him. The poor guy had to be nice since he is working, but I felt like I didn’t have to be and would help kick the lady out in a less nice manner. My attitude was “No wristband? Get out,” instead of the “I’m sorry. You can’t be in here without a wristband” thing he had to say. It took a few minutes, but she finally left, and a few of us made sure to keep an eye out for people we don’t recognize coming into the area. There were quite a few ordinance sniffing dogs on patrol, and there was one whose handler allowed us to pet him, and I can’t remember the dog’s name! He was such a pretty and friendly dog, and I yelled bye to him near the end of the arrivals when they looked like they were leaving, too.
|Fan groups in the bleachers|
|Rebel Legion "behind" the red carpet|
|Ordinance sniffing dogs.|
The only celebrity who came by our area was Anthony Daniels, who was wearing this fantastic C3-PO pin which had a red left arm. We complimented him on it, and he said it was a gift from his team. He made it down part of our line, but he had to leave to do the red carpet. Before he entered the tent portion of the red carpet, he did come back to finish signing and taking photos with our line. I just love that man because he is so kind and generous with his time.
I had taken my telephoto lens back to the car with my other stuff, but did keep my SLR camera with me, and if I couldn’t into the premiere with it, so be it. I would rather have the opportunity to take pictures. In retrospect, I should have kept the zoom lens, but I’m not kicking myself for my decision so I'm sorry it's so hard to see the stars in my photos. I've cropped most of the picture out.
|Max von Sydow|
|Domhnall and Brendan Gleeson|
|Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac|
|Seth Green and Clare Grant|
|I believe this is Paul Dooley, and I have no idea why he was there (or sneaking out before the red carpet tent).|
|(Far left) Harrison Ford|
|Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg, John Boyega|
|Billy Dee Williams|
After all of the arrivals, it did take awhile for them to bring the passes for the premiere to us. We were told that they have them, but they’re looking for them. When the passes arrived we were being rushed into the tents and into the theater. We were placed in the TCL Chinese Theatre, and we had to give our phones and cameras (and any other electronic devices) to the security teams there. Then we could enter the theater itself. It became very obvious to me that our passes were an afterthought because the rows of seats where they placed us had been completely covered with large black “blankets” which we had to ask to have removed so we could sit down.
|One of the walls of the tents|
|This screen to what you see below|
They were playing the livestream of the red carpet interviews on the screen, and the introduction festivities which were happening in the Dolby Theatre (where the cast and crew were). When I saw the opening scroll and heard the theme music, I got emotional which I wasn’t expecting. It had been so long since I had seen a Star Wars film in the theater it had quite an intense effect on me.
|Kylo Ren car|
|Me standing in front of the costume display|
It was a long weekend, so I left around 11:30, and I think the party ended around midnight. I took a new line friend home before heading home for a night sleeping in warmth. I took Tuesday to just recover and relax after a cold, wet, and long weekend which was also exciting, memorable and absolutely worth enduring the cold, rain, and wind.
|Stormtrooper costume display.|
|This dessert was so good, but I wasn't expecting the very alcoholic fruit in it.|
Captain Phasma costume display.