Swedes at the premiere on Tuesday night. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' opened in Swedish cinemas at 10am, with fans rushing to get an early glimpse of the movie, following its premiere on Tuesday night.
Sweden was selected along with countries including France, Denmark and South Africa to be among the initial countries to screen the much-hyped film, a day before it goes on release in the UK and two days before cinemas in the US will show it.
In Stockholm, more than 30 screens were set to show the film throughout Wednesday, with the most-anticipated screenings taking place at the country's new Imax theatre inside the new Mall of Scandinavia in Solna, north of the city centre.
Jens Leffler, 29, told The Local that he was “totally psyched” about watching the movie in the Swedish capital. He said he had spent the morning following the film's official Instagram account in order to get in the mood, but noted that he had avoided looking too closely at early reviews.
“I am pretty excited. I'll admit I have circled the date a little bit in my calendar!” he said.
“I feel that I am in quite a good position because even if it's bad I am just looking forward to the experience and going back to that universe again.”
Meanwhile southern Swedes were planning to pack into one of the other biggest 3D cinemas in the Nordics, the Cinemaxx in Copenhagen.
Others across the country took to social media to demonstrate their excitement, posting photos of themselves in costume, tweeting snaps of their tickets or manipulating profile photos to include Darth Vader masks or light sabres.
The movie's release follows months of teasing trailers that raised more questions than answers, and a Hollywood premiere on Monday from which the celebrity audience emerged smiling but sworn to secrecy.
Disney, which bought the Star Wars franchise from its creator George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012, went to extraordinary lengths to keep the plot shrouded in mystery before the general release.
This secrecy ahead of the launch prompted a backlash against the film's fearsome publicity machine. The French daily newspaper Le Monde boycotted press screenings of the film on Tuesday condemning the “unacceptable…and grotesque” demands made by the studio on journalists who wanted to see it.
The new movie is directed by JJ Abrams, and reviews suggest it is much more in the spirit of the original trilogy, which concluded with the Return of the Jedi in 1983.