Star Wars fans in the Chester area will be flocking to the first day of release for the eagerly awaited new film today.

And the heavens would already appear to be looking fondly on Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens if this photograph taken by a Chronicle reader is anything to go by.

It might look like a galaxy far far away but this picture is likely to be strangely familiar to Star Wars fans in the city.

This rather distinctive cloud formation bears more than a passing resemblance to the iconic image of the Star Destroyer which was seen at the opening of the very first Star Wars film, A New Hope, back in 1977.

That was certainly the view of the person who took the picture.

Reece Ikling captured the image as the anticipation reached fever pitch ahead of the new film's release today, beginning with the first public screenings in most cinemas just after midnight.

Experts are predicting Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens will become the most commercially successful film of all time - something which will be helped by the almost universally positive reviews which followed its world premiere earlier this week.

Can you see similarities? Are you going to see the new film this weekend? Let us know your views in the comments box below