Riley Howell, who died rushing a UNC Charlotte gunman, honored as Star Wars Jedi

A young Riley Howell with his lightsaber -

Riley Howell was a Star Wars superfan. Now Howell, whom police called a hero for helping stop a gunman’s rampage at UNC Charlotte, has been immortalized as a Jedi by Lucasfilm.

A new name now appears in the latest Star Wars edition called “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — The Visual Dictionary.” . It is a character that goes by Ri-Lee Howell. Star Wars Wiki describes this character as a “Jedi Master and historian of the Jedi order. Howell collected many accounts of explorations of the Force in the two volumes of the Aionomica, Aionomicum I and Aionomicum II, carefully preserving the original texts“.

The Visual Dictionary is a book written by Pablo Hidalgo that accompanied the film Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker

Jedi knights are the lightsaber-weilding warrior heroes of the Star Wars universe. 

Howell, 21, was wounded when he rushed a shooter who opened fire in a classroom April 30, 2019. Another student, Reid Parlier, was killed, and four others (Drew Pescaro, Sean DeHart, Rami Al-Ramadhan and Emily Houpt ) were injured, but police said Howell’s actions effectively stopped the shooter.

“He took the fight to the assailant, and he unfortunately had to give his life doing so but he saved lives doing so,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said of Howell on the day after a deadly shooting. “What he did was he took the assailant off his feet and the heroes we have here were able to apprehend from there.”

According to ComplexLucasfilm was made aware of Howell’s fandom when a Florida man reached out to the production company via email in early May to inform them of Riley’s love for Star Wars. The message, written by James Wes Carrens, who has no connection to Howell, suggested that he should be “canonized somewhere in the Star Wars universe.”