Star Wars producers honor a student who saved his classmates from shooting as a Jedi in a new book

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North Carolina: A North Carolina university student hailed by the police as a hero for preventing further injuries and deaths after an armed man opened fire in a classroom has now been immortalized as a Jedi by the Star Wars franchise production company .

The media reports that the family of Riley Howell, a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, described as a big Star Wars fan, was informed by Lucasfilm in May that he planned to honor him in an upcoming book, “Star Wars : The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary. “The book was released by DK editor to coincide with the release of the new movie” Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. ”

In May, the Lucasfilm fan relations team wrote a letter to Howell’s family expressing their condolences.

“Riley’s courage and selflessness brings the Jedi out of all of us,” wrote Lucas Seastrom, a member of the fan relations team. “We hope you rejoice in his memory, and we join you to honor his life and his example.”

“As a small tribute, our Story Group has incorporated a reinvention of Riley’s name as a character in the Star Wars galaxy,” Seastrom continued. “… The Force will be with Riley, and all of you, always …”

The entry in the book has only 66 words, but credits the Jedi master and historian “Ri-Lee Howell” with the compilation of “many of the first exploration and coding stories of The Force.”

Riley Howell’s mother, Natalie Henry-Howell, told The Charlotte Observer that this really marks the second time her son appears in a “Star Wars” book: when he was a child, an uncle had a book custom made for Riley who put him in the starring role of “The Phantom Menace”.

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“It was a great gift,” he recalls, and notes that inclusion in the new book is much more meaningful.

“And I like the way they really left their last name,” says Henry-Howell. “I think I would really appreciate that. Because, you know, they could have said Ri-Lee, Jedi Ri-Lee, and we would be guessing all the time if that was really (him), but they put his last name there just to really honor him … and that really made me cry when I heard “.

The whole family went to see the new movie on the opening night. They brought their ashes and left an open seat for him.

“I think,” says Henry-Howell, “he would have liked how it ended.”

Howell, 21, and a classmate died on April 30 when an armed man opened fire in a classroom in the Kennedy building on the UNCC campus. Four other students were injured, but police say Howell’s actions prevented more injuries or loss of life.

“Either you’re going to run, hide and protect yourself, or you’re going to fight the assailant,” said Kerr Putney, head of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department. “By not having a place to run and hide, he did the last.”

Lauren Westmoreland, Howell’s longtime girlfriend, said in an email that the honor of becoming a Jedi …read more

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