The Han Solo spinoff Solo: A Star Wars Story touched down Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival, bringing its cast and a full-sized Chewbacca to the French Riviera extravaganza. Director Ron Howard, wearing a hat that read “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” introduced his cast before the film’s international premiere at Cannes.
Stormtroopers stood in formation as stars Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and “Chewbacca” actor Joonas Suotamo posed for photographers to promote the biggest Hollywood blockbuster at this year’s festival.
Lebanese actress Manal Issa used the premiere’s massive spotlight to draw attention to the deaths of Palestinian protesters a day earlier at the Gaza border. She held up a sign that said, “Stop the attack on Gaza!!” before the premiere. Thandie Newton wore a custom dress with images of black Star Wars characters, including Finn, Mace Windu and Saw Gerrera, to the premiere.
See photos from the screening of Solo: A Star Wars Story at the 71st international film festival, Cannes
“Yeah, I mean it was, we haven’t seen the film with audiences and that’s great right off the bat. And people loved it,” Newton said after the premiere. Howard described watching the film at Cannes as a “blast,” calling it “a great jumping off place for a movie like ours.”
Solo is the third Star Wars film to land at Cannes, following Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Revenge of the Sith in 2005.
Solo: A Star Wars Story will release on May 25, 2018.