Actors Donald Glover, from right, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, director Ron Howard, actors Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Joonas Suotamo pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP) (Associated Press)

CANNES, France — 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 star 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.

“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.

It will be released in France on May 23, two days before its release in the United States.

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