Star Wars opens locally

Kelsey Jone shares a laugh with Jake Williams as they wait in line for "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on Thursday night at the AMC Classic Dothan Pavilion 12.

John Barrineau remembers going to see the original “Star Wars” trilogy with his father. He was 5 when the first movie hit theaters in 1977.

The Dothan resident loved the space opera created by George Lucas and was thrilled when his own son began watching the movies. Thursday, Barrineau and his son, 11-year-old Landon, camped out early in the lobby of the AMC theater at the Dothan Pavilion for the premiere of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The duo has tried to be first in line for each movie since the latest trilogy started in 2015.

The two shared movie nights at home so that Landon could catch up on all the previous “Star Wars” episodes.

“It was a fun tradition I had with my dad when I was a kid, and I’m so glad they kept doing these movies now so that I do it with him,” Barrineau said. “It was fun when I was a kid but it’s more fun to bring your kid.”

At nearly two-and-a-half hours long, “The Rise of Skywalker” is showing at both the AMC Classic Dothan Pavilion 12 and AMC Dothan 6 in the Northside Shopping Center. The first showings on Thursday sold out at both theaters.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is the final movie in the most recent trilogy, which started with 2015’s “The Force Awakens” and continued in 2017 with “The Last Jedi.” The Skywalker trilogy served as sequels to the original “Star Wars” movies released in the 1970s and 1980s. “The Force Awakens” brought back original characters such as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.

A prequel movie trilogy released between 1999 and 2005 followed the origin story of Darth Vader.

While “The Rise of Skywalker” has been said to be the final “Star Wars” movie, fans won’t have to say goodbye to the franchise. Two standalone “Star Wars” movies have previously been released — “Rogue One” and “Solo” — and the original Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” introduced us to “Baby Yoda.” There’s even talk of a series on Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi.

Kelsey Jone, 23, donned an Obi Wan Kenobi costume for Thursday’s premiere. He has been at every early showing of the latest trilogy and arrived at the AMC Dothan Pavilion theater at noon on Thursday to make sure he got a good seat.

“I’ve been looking forward to it since ‘Force Awakens,’” Jone said.

He has seen every movie, web series and even studied the legends surrounding the “Star Wars” universe. His favorite is Episode III, “Revenge of the Sith” — the movie that shows how Anakin Skywalker finally becomes Darth Vader.

“I think it was the brotherly bond that Anakin and Obi Wan had together, and then you have the hardships and tears in emotions where Anakin wanted to save and love his wife,” Jone said.

“But in order to save his wife he actually drove himself to madness and to the Sith.”

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