The question on many critics’ minds in the extensive build up to the premiere of the new Star Wars Film was would “The Force Awakens” live up to the hype? The answer quite categorically seems to be ‘yes’ judging by the initial reviews.

Film labelled a “classic”

With generous praise being lavished on the production by the UK press, comments calling it a “triumph” and even going as far as labelling the film a “classic” have been commonplace.

Established publications such as The Daily Telegraph and The Times have been among the first to print their reviews on the latest addition to the Star Wars legacy.

Both leading British newspapers seem to have been highly delighted with the finished product, handing out five stars to indicate their official stamp of approval.

Expect nostalgia

Writing for The Times, Kate Muir believed that older fans would be affected by “tearful nostalgia” as she added that “this is a classic.” With original stars such as Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill having all been persuaded to return to the fold, the final product has clearly matched the huge expectations of the critics at least.

Robbie Collin for The Daily Telegraph admitted that the film had reduced him to tears (of joy) at some points. He enjoyed Ford’s recreation of the Han Solo role, which had added a welcome form of “world-weariness” to the original character.

In the latest edition of the science Fiction saga, Solo and his allies have fast-forwarded thirty years on from their defeat of the evil Galactic Empire. They face a new threat this time in the form of the villain Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) and his (seemingly requisite) army of Stormtroopers.

Escapism at its best

The Daily Mail’s review also endorsed the power of the imagery on screen.

Brian Viner called ‘Episode VII’ a “triumph of escapism” and went as far as suggesting that it was “the most exhilarating yet” in the film franchise’s history. He praised the “almost balletic airborne battle scenes” as being comparable to the better action sequences seen in previous World War II films.

The critic also pointed to the British actress Daisy Ridley as being the true star of the show in his eyes.

She plays the part of ‘Rey’ and her portrayal of a scavenger should “send her career into orbit” according to Viner.

Pre-booked tickets at record levels

Records are also expected to be smashed at the box office. In the days leading up to its release, “The Force Awakens” had sold in excess of half a million tickets for the opening week at the Odeon cinema chain alone. That figure was double their previous record for James Bond’s latest outing in “Spectre”.

The next questions to be answered are will the fans be as delighted by the new film as the critics clearly were and will the box office takings surpass “Avatar’s” record?