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PHOTOS: Prince George rises to the occasion ahead of ninth Star Wars movie

More than 100 die-hard fans lined up at local theatre for very first screening

The force was strong with more than 100 Star Wars fans in Prince George this evening (Dec. 19).

On the night of The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth installment of the beloved sci-fi series, residents of young and old braved the cold weather for several hours in order to get a good seat for the city's premiere of the saga finale.

Brett Cullen was first in line early this afternoon and couldn't wait to see how the new trilogy will end.

"I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time and I'm excited it's finally here," Cullen said in an interview with PrinceGeorgeMatters.

"One of my earliest memories was watching Empire Strike Back on VHS [...] It's always been something I've had fun with as a kid growing up seeing the movies, playing with all the action figures. As I've grown into an adult, it's a great way to find comradery; it's a worldwide thing. For me, meeting new people and enjoying Star Wars together with friends has really been a huge part of how my life has been shaped."

The 25-year-old has costumes he wishes he could've worn to show his excitement, but Mother Nature had other plans as he and his friends Ashley, Rob and Cliff endured single-digit temperatures and winds before walking through the theatre doors at 5 p.m.

"I've got some screen-accurate costumes I love to wear and love to use. I would've loved to have worn them today, but I chose to be practical and just going to enjoy the movie without wearing uncomfortable armour."

Cullen believes seeing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be very humbling, to say the least, as, according to Disney and its directors, there is likely going to be a long hiatus of any future film in the 40-year franchise.

"I'm excited to see how it all comes to an end," said Cullen, also adding he's already anticipating fresh new material in the years to come if and when a new saga comes forward for fans like him.

"[The Rise of Skywalker] is definitely going to be bittersweet, I think there's going to be lots of crazy emotional moments in this movie. I'm excited to see a good, satisfying ending."

There were six shows on opening night at Prince George's Cineplex/Famous Players theatre.

For tickets and showtimes, you can visit Cineplex's local listings online.

The Rise of Skywalker follows The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017) set 30 years after the original trilogy that featured Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

Cullen says he's been lucky to have Han Solo, his all-time favourite character, play a role in the most recent films for a new generation of buffs.

However, he's been fascinated by one grim, dark and important figure from the last two plots.

"I really like Kylo Ren's character," he explained. "I think he's really really well-acted by Adam Driver and just the character that they've taken on them so far has been really engaging. There's a lot of depth to his character that I'm really excited to see get expanded on in [The Rise of Skywalker]."

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