The Force was with us at ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

From left, Kat Campbell, Matt Cox, Maria Cox (kneeling), Kristine Cherry, Dennis Cherry, Dave Mason, Lisa Sobien, Jennifer Cole (with the light saber) and Paul Szymborski gather after seeing “Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker” in West Hills, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Bondy)
From left, Ryan Bondy, Maria Cox, Matt Cox, Kristine Cherry, Dennis Cherry, Kat Campbell, Lisa Sobien, Jennifer Cole (with the light saber) and Paul Szymborski gather after seeing “Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker” in West Hills. (Photo by Dave Mason)
Jennifer Cole, left, and Karen Hoagland stand in Chili’s, where the crew enjoyed a dinner after the movie. (Photo by Dave Mason)
Jennifer Cole stands ready with her light saber after the USS Angeles watches “Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker” at the AMC Fallbrook 7 in West Hills. With her at the Los Angeles area theater are, front to back, Paul Szymborski, Lisa Sobien, Kat Campbell, Kristine and Dennis Cherry, Matt and Maria Matt Cox, and Ryan Bondy. (Photo by Dave Mason)

By Fleet Capt. Dave Mason

WEST HILLS, Calif. — Jennifer Cole swung into action with her light saber.

Not so much for combat, but to celebrate the triumphant conclusion of the 42-year “Star Wars” saga for Luke Skywalker and his friends with “Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker.”

Fourteen USS Angeles members gathered to see the movie Dec. 28 at the AMC Fallbrooks 7 in West Hills.

We enjoyed watching the film at the Los Angeles theater, where we saw Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams reprise their classic roles as Leia Organa (in archival footage), Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and Lando Calrissian. And Joonas Suotamo continues to do well as Chewbacca. He’s the successor to the late, great Peter Mayhew.

Angeles members also liked the story about the newer characters Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). J.J. Abrams directed and co-wrote the story, which answered questions and gave us a crucial character detail we didn’t predict.

In addition, there were two familiar faces that I didn’t expect to see in the film. There will be no plot spoilers here, but I felt this was a movie with great moments for longtime and new “Star Wars” fans alike.

After the movie, we enjoyed dinner and celebrated Kristine Cherry’s and my birthdays at a nearby Chili’s. Others attending were Dennis Cherry, Lisa Sobien, Karen Hoagland, Dan and Mary Hovey, Ryan Bondy, Matt and Maria Cox, Paul Szymborski, Jennifer Taylor and Cheryl Templeton.

Dave Mason

Commanding Officer, USS Angeles NCC-71840