JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” is now in theaters nationwide, marking the end of a saga that began in 1977.
Beyond the movies, Star Wars has become a multi-billion dollar “Empire” -- invading every aspect of pop culture -- from action figures and breakfast cereal to theme parks and even disco music.
For some, the story of Luke, Leia, Rey and Kylo is ending on a sour note -- but others are happy with the mark they have left on the galaxy and are excited to see where the franchise heads next.
The film has a “rotten” score of 56% on “Rotten Tomatoes” -- but the Audience score is much higher at 88%.
We won't go into any spoilers here -- but it's sure to spark a debate among fans, just like the prequel series, over how it stacks up compared to the original trilogy.
News4Jax was at the New Vision Theater in Fleming Island, where dozens of die-hard fans turned out for an early showing.
Stormtroopers, bounty hunters, and Jedi greeted customers as they entered the theater.
They're actually members of local and regional Star Wars fan groups, who put dozens if not hundreds of hours of work into building screen-accurate costumes.
So where does the franchise go from here?
The new Disney Plus series “The Mandalorian” -- aka the show with Baby Yoda -- wraps up its first season next week and has already been picked up for Season 2.
Two new animated series will debut next year on the streaming service -- and two live-action series are also in production, including one centered around Obi-Wan Kenobi with Ewan McGregor returning as “Old Ben.”
Disney has decided to take a break from the big screen, and the next film in the franchise isn’t expected to hit theaters until 2022.
Those plans could be on hold, however, following the departure of “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who left the project for a deal with Netflix.
In Florida, Disney’s new Star Wars expansion, Galaxy’s Edge, opened earlier this year.
News4Jax reporter Erik Avanier was one of the first guests to get a sneak peek.
The new Rise of the Resistance ride opened this month -- and the park is still working out the kinks with some long lines.