The force is strong with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, according to early reactions from the film’s premiere in Los Angeles.
Official reviews are under embargo until the December 16 US release, but the crowd at the Pantages Theatre went wild with applause as the credits rolled, as they took to social media to express their delight in the Star Wars spinoff about the rebels who steal the plans for the Death Star.
The film, set right before the events of the original 1977 Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, will be released in Australian cinemas at 12.01am on Thursday.
Comedian Dane Cook suggested on Twitter that it might be “the best” Star Wars movie yet, while Rainn Wilson called it “amazing.”
Actor Wil Wheaton said he hadn’t loved a Star Wars movie as much since the original.
Chris Taylor, author of the book How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, wrote that the film was “heart-stopping and dark. Like darker than Empire Strikes Back dark.”
Rogue One was directed by Gareth Edwards and also stars Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed and Mads Mikkelsen.
It’s the first of three spinoff films set in the Star Wars universe, and follows Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was released to critical acclaim at the end of 2015.