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Why One Man Was Punched At A Rise Of Skywalker Screening

To say that Star Wars fans were merely looking forward to the launch of The Rise of Skywalker, the final entry in the currently trilogy and the concluding chapter of the 42-year-long Skywalker saga, would be a massive understatement. Diehards were practically bouncing off the walls out of sheer excitement, and went to great lengths to ensure that their opening-night screenings on December 19 would be as perfect as possible. Unfortunately for two viewers, the night didn't go as planned. 

According to CTV News Vancouver, one moviegoer allegedly punched another man at a Rise of Skywalker showing at Vancouver's Scotiabank Theatre on Thursday evening. The reason? He was using his cellphone during the movie. Things grew so intense that theater staff members were forced to pause The Rise of Skywalker in order to deescalate the situation. 

Another audience member managed to capture video footage of the tail end of the encounter, which resulted in the man who reportedly punched the other being forcibly removed from the Scotiabank Theatre. The video shows the unidentified man being escorted out, letting the entire cinema room — which by that point had erupted into boos and chants demanding he be kicked out of the showing — know how angry he was. 

"Turn your phones off! You're f****** losers with your phones," he states in the clip. I waited a g****** year for this and some a****** turned his phone on next to me. Use your f****** heads."

Following the altercation, the man who was reportedly punched, Joe Bond, spoke with CTV News Vancouver and revealed the reason why he was using his phone during The Rise of Skywalker. As it happens, Thursday, December 19 was the first night Bond and his wife had left their infant and four-year-old child at home with a babysitter. The babysitter checked in with Bond before The Rise of Skywalker began playing, letting him know that they were having a bit of trouble getting the younger child to sleep. CTV News Vancouver notes that Bond and his wife "were texting right up until the start of the movie to make sure everything was OK," and Bond "briefly" took his phone out again during The Rise of Skywalker's runtime. That's when the purported puncher, who was said to be already "irritated" after seeing someone recording the movie's opening crawl, went off on Bond.

"He lost it at me. I told him to calm down and if he doesn't calm down then I was going to get somebody — and then he hit me in the face," said Bond. "Star Wars fans are very serious people, but I think this guy was on the next level."

Local law enforcement are currently looking into the situation. Vancouver Police Constable Tania Visintin stated on Friday, December 20, "We were unable to locate the suspect. Video footage of the theatre is being reviewed and an investigation is underway."

People have gotten fired up over The Rise of Skywalker for other reasons

Sadly for, well, everyone in and around the Star Wars fandom, The Rise of Skywalker has incited some intense reactions. Many fans were left feeling disappointed at best and outraged at worst after seeing the film in theaters over its opening weekend, with countless franchise loyals taking to social media to vent their inflamed emotions. 

"Rise of Skywalker is the worst movie I have seen this year. I want to go as far as to say this is the worst Star Wars movie ever," one Twitter user wrote. "But I'll let this one sit with me for a bit longer before I do that. I really hated this movie." Another tweeted, "After a long day, and now what seems a longer night, I went to the late showing of Rise of Skywalker. In a concise message to anyone on the fence, don't bother. Unless you are a huge fan, the movie was a waste of time. Find something else to do."

Some implemented more colorful language to describe their thoughts about The Rise of Skywalker — calling it "hot garbage," "a bunch of thematically and emotionally vapid fan wankery," "an absolute disgrace to the Star Wars saga," and "a stain on humanity."

There were plenty of reasons why some moviegoers loathed The Rise of Skywalker right down to its core — chief among them being that the film addressed big questions with answers many found unsatisfying — but at least they didn't punch anyone because of it. We just wish we could say the same for the man who got worked up about in-movie cellphone usage.