Ri-Lee Howell was a Jedi Master and historian of the Jedi Order. Howell collected many early accounts of explorations and codifications of the Force in the two volumes of the Aionomica, Aionomicum I and Aionomicum II, carefully preserving the original texts. The Aionomica was part of the sacred Jedi texts which dated to the dawn of the Jedi Order, and was a combination of codex, correspondence, and scrapbook that also held passages written by the original sages that were carefully preserved by Howell. Both volumes of the Aionomica eventually came into the possession of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, and were later acquired by his Jedi apprentice Rey in 34 ABY.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- "Riley's courage and selflessness brings out the Jedi in us all. […] As a small tribute, our Story Group has incorporated a re-imagining of Riley's name as a character in the Star Wars galaxy. We can't reveal the specific details at this time, but the character's name will appear in a forthcoming book publication later this year."
- ―Lucasfilm Fan Relations Team's Lucas O. Seastrom, in a letter to the Howell family
Ri-Lee Howell was first mentioned in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary, a 2019 Star Wars reference book written by Pablo Hidalgo that accompanied the film Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. The character was named after Riley Howell, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte student and long-time Star Wars fan who lost his life during the UNC Charlotte shooting on April 30, 2019 when he bravely attempted to stop the perpetrator.
Following Riley's death, Lucasfilm Ltd. sent a letter to the Howell family informing them that the Lucasfilm Story Group had decided to create a character based on Riley as a small tribute, but they could not share the details until The Visual Dictionary was released. Once the book was released, Howell's girlfriend created a TikTok video that went viral and resulted in significant press coverage. News sites shared the circumstances of the story as well as recognizing that Riley had been canonized in Star Wars and that he had received his own entry on Wookieepedia.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary (First mentioned)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens to 34 ABY, while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary places the events of Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi in the same year as The Force Awakens. Therefore, Rey's acquirement of the Aionomica's volumes, which occurs in the novelization of The Last Jedi, can be placed in 34 ABY.
- Janes, Théoden (2019-12-23). 'Star Wars' fan Riley Howell, who died a hero at UNCC, is enshrined as a Jedi now. The Charlotte Observer. Rodney Mahone. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved on April 17, 2020.
- Brown, Tanya Ballard (2019-12-25). Hero Killed In UNC-Charlotte Shooting Immortalized As 'Star Wars' Jedi. NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. Archived from the original on April 6, 2020. Retrieved on April 17, 2020.