Friday, December 27, 2019

Ri-Lee Howell, Jedi Master

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte student Riley Howell (left), 21, who died during a shooting on University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s campus on April 30 has been officially honored as a Jedi Master by his favorite franchise: Star Wars. 

As the gunman opened fire, Howell charged at him, and police said his actions “absolutely” helped stopped the attacker from killing more people, and from the incident being classified as a mass shooting. 

“He took the fight to the assailant. Unfortunately he had to give his life to do so, but he saved lives”, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters the following day. 

In the said incident, two people were fatally shot (Howell and 19-year-old Ellis Parlier) and four others were wounded. 

Media reports and obituary tributes after Howell’s death noted his love of Star Wars, such as ABC affiliate WLOS’s story that included his younger brother Teddy saying, “He’s the only 21-year-old, who would willingly fight his lightsaber with me”. 

News of Howell’s fandom later reached Lucasfilm, the production company behind Star Wars. 

Howell’s name was then re-imagined for the name of a Jedi – who are described as guardians of peace and justice in the Star Wars universe’s Galactic Republic – in the book Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary, which was released on Friday to accompany the premiere of the movie Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. He became a character called “Ri-Lee Howell” – a “Jedi Master and historian” credited with compiling “many of the earliest accounts of exploration and codifications of The Force”. 

Lauren Westmoreland, Howell’s long-term girlfriend celebrated the tribute in a video posted to TikTok, in which she thanked Lucasfilm for the tribute and wrote in a caption: “I’m so lucky to know a Jedi master”. 

And she wrote in the video: “Thank you for giving my love the best Christmas gift this year and making him part of the Star Wars universe forever”. 

Yesterday, Liverpool steamrolled past Leicester in a largely one-sided match where the latter were totally outclassed. The Reds thrashed the Foxes 4-0. 

First, a corner that saw Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered from deep on the left, as Roberto Firmino made his run to the far post and planted a brilliant header from close range in the thirty-first minute. 

The second came when a penalty was awarded for a handball by the other side’s Turkish defender – and which James Milner put straight down the middle in the seventy-first minute. 

The third was three minutes later when Trent crossed low and Firmino took a touch before curling a side-footed strike into the top corner from eight yards. 

And the fourth saw Trent racing half the length of the pitch to smash into the corner of the net in the seventy-eighth minute, after Sadio Mane teed him up. 

Jurgen Klopp's side certainly played like title winners! 

Brendan Rodgers and his team had thought they have an exceptional season thus far – admittedly, they are still second in the table – and yet the Reds on Thursday brought them down to earth with a big loud thud. 

A harsh reality check for the Foxes. 

It was pure dominance on display from start to finish by Liverpool as they secured a 13 point advantage at the Premier League summit, with a game in hand, which sees the unbeaten run in the topflight stretch to 35 games.

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