After three interminable years of waiting, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is almost upon us. Walt Disney Pictures will publicly show the film for the first time on December 14, 2015 at the world premiere in Los Angeles, with press screenings taking place the next day. And shortly after that, fans all over the globe will flock to their local theater to see the Skywalker saga continue.
This week will see much celebration within the Star Wars community, and Lucasfilm is making sure that everyone can be a part of the fun. While invitations to the world premiere were in limited supply, those who are stuck at home can still participate via an extensive interactive experience that has been set up.
Fans will be able to stream the world premiere live on starwars.com starting at 5:30 p.m. PST on December 14. Obviously, this only pertains to the red carpet portion of the program; viewers will not be able to see the movie on their computer. Still, it should be a memorable night and there are plenty of ways to get involved thanks to the event's many sponsors.
HP, Inc. is holding a video contest that will allow winners to appear virtually on the red carpet. Entrants record themselves recreating the sounds of a Star Wars music track for a chance to appear on HP's video wall. Submissions must have the hashtag #AwakenYourForce to be considered. Verizon is also providing fans everywhere with an enhanced viewing experience that includes unique camera views on starwars.com, FiOS TV, and Go 90. Verizon customers can ask the cast and crew questions through Twitter while the talent is on the red carpet. In addition, Dodge will unveil a custom-wrapped Viper with Kylo Ren themed graphics.
Disney's press release says that "cast and filmmakers" from Star Wars 7 will be in attendance, not sharing the names of who viewers can see. That said, people can expect Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and most (all?) of the principal actors gathered together to debut the latest film set in a galaxy far, far away. Kennedy also recently revealed that Star Wars creator George Lucas will be on hand, so it will be interesting to see if there's anything special planned to recognize Lucas and what he's meant to the franchise since its humble beginnings in 1977.
Lucasfilm has a review embargo for The Force Awakens in place until December 16, 2015, but that only pertains to written reviews by the press. Anyone in attendance who is not covering the movie for an outlet will be able to share their instant reactions on social media once the premiere is over. This gives the event a whole new layer of intrigue, since the legions of Star Wars fans will be dying to know if Episode VII lives up to the substantial amount of hype it's generated or is sadly The Phantom Menace 2.0. The Star Wars 7 cast seem to think the movie's good, and Lucas even said fans will love it, but are they being truthful? Won't be long until we find out.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens releases in theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm