Stormtroopers marched and droids rolled down the red carpet at The Force Awakens world premiere Monday, heralding the return of Star Wars after a decade-long absence from the big screen.

A giant opaque tent shrouded the carpet, which was lined with Stormtrooper mannequins and neon lights that resembled giant lightsabers. Inside the tent, a whole constellation of stars were assembled, including Harrison Ford, Lupita Nyong'o, Jon Favreau and Janelle Monae.

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Actors Harrison Ford, left and Mark Hamill arrive at the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Hollywood, Calif. on Monday. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Before the film's human stars arrived, the droid BB-8 rolled by the cameras. The soccerball-esque droid has been a popular fixture in trailers for the seventh Star Wars film, and it was soon joined by series mainstays C-3PO and R2-D2.

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Actress Lupita Nyong'o, a member of the primary Force Awakens cast, poses with a fan as she arrives at the premiere. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

John Williams's soaring score played as The Force Awakens cast, including Ford, Nyong'o, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Max von Sydow, Gwendolyn Christie, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley conducted interviews.

At one point, Fisher turned the microphone on her co-star, Oscar Isaac, and conducted an interview that included her dropping an expletive.

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Mother-daughter actresses Carrie Fisher, left, and Billie Lourd embrace at the star-studded premiere on Dec. 14. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Ford reflected on the impact of the film and the role that catapulted him to superstardom.

"Well, in the '70s nobody knew what to anticipate," Ford said in an interview with Starwars.com. "Nobody had ever seen anything like it. Now we have to live up to what the first films delivered."

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The Force Awakens co-stars Adam Driver, left, and Oscar Isaac get reacquainted at the Hollywood premiere. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Despite being in charge of The Force Awakens for the past three years, director J.J. Abrams seemed overwhelmed by the magnitude of the premiere.

"It's very surreal. I've never seen this kind of thing," he told Starwars.com. "It's insane. I feel enormously guilty for this community, this neighbourhood."

Also present for the premiere was Star Wars creator George Lucas.

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Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, right, poses with Star Wars creator George Lucas at the Hollywood premiere of the latest instalment of the epic space franchise. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Disney took over a half-mile section of Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere, where the film was screening at three theaters. Some 5,000 invited guests would see the characters Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo reunite for the first time on the big screen since 1983's Return of the Jedi.

In bleachers set up on the boulevard, some fans dressed as X-Wing pilots while others held up helmets resembling those worn by bounty hunters in the film.

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Fans attend the Dec. 14 premiere in all manner of Star Wars characters. Kevork Djansezian/Reuters (Kevork Djansezian/Reuters)

Security around the site was high, with metal detectors screening pedestrians and police dogs checking the area.

For those without tickets to the premiere, the most they could see was the outside of the tent.

"We're really disappointed because we are big Star Wars fans, and we were hoping to at least see a little of the celebrities," said Natalie Arnet, a tourist from Paris.

"I understand the need for security," Arnet said.

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Elizabeth Banks, among the celebrities who attended as a fan, takes a selfie as she arrives. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

But for a lifelong Star Wars fan, it was tough being that close to the premiere and not getting a better look. "I wanted to see the old cast members because I grew up with these films," she said.

Actors Chadwick Boseman and Sarah Hyland and director Steven Spielberg were among the Hollywood stars who attended what could be the largest Hollywood premiere ever. One of the participating theaters — the iconic TCL Chinese — hosted the premiere of the original Star Wars in 1977.

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Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as Yoda, poses with Storm Troopers at the premiere held at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on Dec. 14. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Spielberg praised the franchise, saying he knew when the first film was released that it would be an enduring hit. "It was a slow burn, but I knew it would never go away," Spielberg told Starwars.com.

The Force Awakens opens to the public Friday and some expect the film to break box office records, as it has already with presale tickets.

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Force Awakens actor John Boyega figures to become a household name, given the box office expectations of the film. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)