'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Release Photos: 17 Images From Opening Night

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Fans of the epic Star Wars films are anything but muted about their passion for the science fiction/fantasy space saga. And Thursday night, which marked the opening of the latest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, saw no shortage of fandom and spirit as viewers turned out in droves, lightsabers blazing, to catch a late night showing of the long-awaited flick. From directer J.J. Abrams, Star War: The Force Awakens is the seventh addition to the series, and is expected to bring in an estimated $1.5 billion to $2 billion worldwide at the box office.

The frenzy of attention in the long lead up to this film's release has produced nothing if not a bevy of varied content. The film has inspired new trends in fashion, novelty lightsaber sparring games, endless Black Friday deals on Star Wars toys, a 75-piece orchestra that reworked the original score at the American Music Awards this year and a line of Star Wars-themed condoms (for real, the tag line is "I will not be your father").

The early reviews from critics are in, and the consensus appears to be widespread accolade for the film. Fans looking to join in the Star Wars bonanza can find showtimes and purchase tickets online here

Here are 17 photos that show the mayhem and the glory that was opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Source: Noam Galai/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Source: Kazuhiro Nogi /Getty Images
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Source: Mohd Rasfan/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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Source: Anthony Wallace /Getty Images