Star Wars - The Force Awakens - is a 2015 American epic space opera film directed, co-produced, and co-written by J. J. Abrams. The seventh installment in the main Star Wars film series, it stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow. Produced by Lucasfilm and Abrams' Bad Robot Productions and distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, The Force Awakens is set approximately 30 years after Return of the Jedi (1983), and follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron's fight with the Resistance, led by veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, descended from the Galactic Empire.
The Force Awakens is the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy announced after Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm in October 2012. The film is produced by Abrams, his long-time collaborator Bryan Burk, and Lucas film president Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer of the original trilogy films The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi, rewrote an initial script by Michael Arndt. John Williams, composer for the previous six films, returned to compose its score. Star Wars creator George Lucas served as creative consultant during the film's early production stages. Filming began in April 2014 in Abu Dhabi and Iceland, with principal photography also taking place in Ireland and Pinewood Studios in England.
The Force Awakens was released worldwide starting from December 16, 2015, two days after its premiere in Los Angeles and more than 10 years after the release of the franchise's last major installment. Critics compared it favorably to the original trilogy, praising its action sequences, characters, acting, special effects, musical score and emotional drama, though some criticized it as derivative. Disney backed the film with an extensive marketing campaign; it has broken many box office records, including the highest-grossing worldwide opening of all time and the fastest movie to reach $1 billion. As of December 27, 2015, it has generated a global box office gross of near $1.09 billion, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 2015 and the fifteenth highest of all time. Episode VIII is scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, followed by the remaining film in the trilogy, Episode IX, in 2019.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered in Los Angeles at the TCL Chinese Theatre, El Capitan Theatre and Dolby Theatre on December 14, 2015. A white tent stretched along Hollywood Boulevard from Orange Drive to Highland Avenue, covering the premiere event that hosted more than five thousand guests. The film was released in 12 countries including European nations (such as Italy and France, releasing it on a Wednesday), the Philippines and Thailand on December 16 and 32 countries including the United Kingdom, Mexico and additional European, Asian, South American and Oceania countries on December 17 and in North America, Japan, Spain, and Venezuela on December 18 in 3D and IMAX 3D.It will be released in India on December 25 and in China on January 9, 2016 .
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