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Alas, the latest instalment in the Star Wars saga, in New Zealand cinemas on Thursday, was not screened for the Hollywood Press Assn. The first reactions to the highly-anticipated follow-up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been nearly universally positive.

When "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" opened and immediately became a phenomenon as well as the biggest (and most profitable) franchise in film history, Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia was not only romantic and lovely, but a warrior leader of the Rebel Alliance.

Hotter than one of Yoda's root leaf curries, the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is expected to cash in on 12 months of relentless hype with one of the biggest domestic opening weekends ever.

Like Fisher and Hamill, Harrison Ford was a "Star Wars" mainstay as loveable rogue Han Solo - but the character is missing from the latest chapter, having been killed off.

LA Premiere of
Director Rian Johnson dedicated the night to the late Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher

It was a close call, but John Boyega made it the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

The evening was dedicated to Carrie Fisher, who played Leia and who died last December. Obviously, I'm really nervous. "The Last Jedi" may reveal her true destiny. In addition to the usual categories franchise pictures like Star Wars tend to compete in, such as sound mixing and visual effects, it seems that Disney will also be campaigning Mark Hamill for Best Actor and Daisy Ridley for Best Actress. "I hope they like it", he said.

Star Domhnall Gleeson, who plays Gen. Armitage Hux in the film, waited until Saturday night to watch the final product with the franchise's beloved fans.

ABC News and Lucasfilm are both part of parent company Disney.