Extinction Rebellion didn't want to halt Star Wars premiere

Extinction Rebellion protesters insisted they did not want to shut down the 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' premiere on Wednesday (18.12.19).

The European debut screening of the highly-anticipated movie was disrupted when eight members of the climate change activist group - dressed as characters from the franchise, including C-3PO, Han Solo, and members of the Rebel Alliance - walked out onto the blue carpet and laid down on the floor.

Security at the event did not forcibly remove the protesters from the carpet and instead formed a guard around them so the stars and guests could continue to walk into the cinema at London's Leicester Square, and the protesters could peacefully make their point about the dangers to the environment.

And a spokesperson for the group confirmed they "did not intend to shut down the premiere, but to make sure their message was heard".

The activists held up signs that called on film industry bosses to "tell the truth on climate change".

An eye witness from BANG Showbiz heard one protester dressed as a Rebellion X-wing fighter pilot shout: "Hollywood tell the truth on climate change. Help us create a new world. Hollywood you have a unique opportunity to change the world. Help us act now."

And in a reference to Princess Leia's message to Obi-Wan Kenobi in first film, 'Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope', he said: "Help us Hollywood you're our only hope."

The protest, as part of Film Strike for Climate, urged Hollywood to engage audiences by using the power of cinema to "show a clear vision of a better and more just world, lighting the way to help guide society through the oncoming crises and man-made disasters."

The film group's founder, Alfie Warren-Knight, said: "At the world government summit in Dubai, Harrison Ford said 'We are faced with, I believe, the greatest moral crisis of our time'.

"The film industry must use its influence and story-telling powers to help people around the world understand the urgency of the situation and to spark wide-spread public discussion about the climate and ecological emergency before it's too late. It has shown in the past how it can mobilise around other important issues in society such as the #MeToo movement.

"The industry must show a brighter future is still possible, and inspire people to rise up against the 'Evil Empire' of ecocidal business-as-usual. We need radical culture and system change to prevent climate and ecological breakdown, and must join forces to improve our chances of a liveable future."