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While the box office and critical response to the final Star Wars film in the original nine-film Skywalker saga will tell stories of their own, fans have been celebrating the end of an era with outrageous and wonderful acts of devotion to the iconic sci-fi series. The Rise of Skywalker has hit theaters and lifelong Star Wars diehards are capping old traditions and making grand gestures for a galaxy far, far away.
Some, like couples Andy and Wendee Forbes and Matt and Mallory Anderegg, love Star Wars (and each other) so much that they chose the film’s opening night as the perfect occasion to tie the knot. Both pairs were married in Star Wars-themed ceremonies at an Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, before immediately heading into the theater to check out how writer/director J.J. Abrams brought it all to a close:
Some bonds hold even tighter than marriage. Bonds like camping out together in the freezing cold for two decades of Star Wars. The Hollywood Reporter documented the long-running tradition of camping out for Star Wars opening day tickets outside the TCL Chinese Theatre. Some, like Peter Genovese and Linc Gasking, have been braving the conditions (and public ridicule) since the franchise's return with 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
What were once lines filled with Darth Maul facepaint and lightsabers are now, 20 years later, filled with lightsabers and Baby Yoda costumes. People are still cosplaying, debating, spoiling, and repping their pride for their fandom — and their sacrifices for the cause. Some even lined up, in full costume, in the plummeting temperatures in Juneau, Alaska:
Fans can express their fandom however they want—to whatever level they’re comfortable, marriage or not—now that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters today, Dec. 20.