(FromL) British actor Paul Bettany, US director Ron Howard, US producer Kathleen Kennedy, US actor Woody Harrelson, US actor Alden Ehrenreich, British actress Emilia Clarke, US actor Donald Glover, British actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge, British actress Thandie Newton, Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo, US writer Jon Kasdan, US producer Simon Emanuel and US writer Lawrence Kasdan pose as they leave the Festival Palace on May 15, 2018 after the screening of the film "Solo : A Star Wars Story" at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. / AFP / Alberto PIZZOLI Image Credit: AFP

The Han Solo spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story touched down on 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 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.