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Fans out in Force for the final installment of the Star Wars saga

MORGANTOWN — Scum and villainy aside, AMC Classic Morgantown 12 was hoppin’ like a Mos Eisley cantina on Thursday evening as “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” opened in local theaters.

Seasoned fans and padawans alike turned up — some decked out in full regalia — to take in the final installment of the epic space saga that began in 1977.

And while going to the movie in Morgantown dressed like an Ewok with your Aunt Peggy is exciting, it’s a hyperspace jump away from going to the world premier in Hollywood with Luke Skywalker himself.

That’s how Michel Boyer spent his Monday evening.

Boyer is a member of Garrison Corellia, the West Virginia chapter of the 501st Legion — a charity-focused Star Wars costuming group with some 15,000 members across the globe.

“Disney invited two members from every state — a good guy costumer and a bad guy costumer. So I was in one of my officer costumes on the red carpet. They had about a hundred of us lined up,” Boyer said. “I saw the movie in my costume. All the stars came through. I got to meet Mark Hamill, John Boyega. It was crazy.”

As with many Star Wars aficionados, Boyer said there have been ups and downs since Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012.

“I loved Rogue One. I enjoyed Force Awakens. Solo, eh, it’s an OK movie. The Last Jedi I didn’t like at all,” he said. “I think J.J. [Abrams] did a good job with this one. I enjoyed it. I think it was a good wrap up to the trilogy and even to the saga.”

Good news for fans of the franchise like Josiah Sheffstall, who said he’s been watching Star Wars since he was a baby Yoda.

Sheffstall said he’s been watching The Mandalorian to get warmed up for Thursday.

“I’m excited. I’ve heard it’s going to be really good,” he said. “I’ve really been looking forward to it.”