New Star Wars damp squib in Cannes

Lukewarm response to blockbuster premiere

by Richard Mowe

Roll call of honour for the cast and crew at the Solo: A Star Wars Story premiere in Cannes
Roll call of honour for the cast and crew at the Solo: A Star Wars Story premiere in Cannes Photo: Festival de Cannes

Despite the imposing figures of Stormtroopers on the Cannes red carpet and a roll call of such cast members as the new Han Solo actor Alden Ehrenreich alongside director Ron Howard, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Paul Bethany and Donald Glover, the Cannes bow of Solo: A Star Wars Story was met with a muted response.

Newton, in particular, dressed to impress in a Vivienne Westwood Couture gown that featured photos of black character action figures from the franchise - Finn, Mace Windu, Captain Panaka, Saw Gerrera and Lando Calrissian.

Her stylist Erin Walsh described it on Instagram as "a dress made of dreams".

Fireworks were unleashed along the Croisette in a spectacular display accompanied by music from the film which almost eclipsed the pyrotechnics on screen.

The screening in the vast Lumiere theatre in the Palais des Festivals was full to overflow and anticipation was at fever pitch. In the event there was only lukewarm applause and a reduced standing ovation of around four minutes.

The trade magazines reported that the French in particular appeared not to appreciate the production from Disney and Lucasfilm.

The film which rolls out on release from 25 May, is the only major Hollywood production in Cannes this year. It the first time in more than a decade that a Star Wars film has been shown at the Festival. The Force was not with them this time around.

Thandie Newton in her Vivienne Westwood Couture gown at the after party at Carlton Beach
Thandie Newton in her Vivienne Westwood Couture gown at the after party at Carlton Beach Photo: Antony Jones/2018 Getty Images

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