Force is strong in Sydney as Harrison Ford greets fans

HUNDREDS of young padawans have gathered outside the Sydney Opera House to catch a glimpse of Harrison Ford ahead of the new Star Wars movie's release.

The Han Solo actor told his fans the new film would not disappoint, "You know what? It's a really good ride," he said.

"And there's some really substantial emotional exercise involved, and I think if you put those two together, you get a winner."

On-stage interviewer Jay Laga'aia, of Playschool fame, also had minor roles in Star Wars Episodes II and III as Captain Typho.

When he asked who would win a comedy battle between Han Solo and Ford's other famous character, Indiana Jones, the star ran into some trouble with his words.

The older members of the crowd had a snigger when Ford suggested it would have to end in a vigorous "joke off".

Ford said he was excited to soon get started on his upcoming film, the next instalment of Blade Runner.

"We have a really good script, and a good story, a good director... I start that in fall next year," he said.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday, December 17.