How 'the force' led a P.E.I. woman to propose to her boyfriend at a Star Wars screening

No one was more surprised than Melanie Jackson to find out that she was not only the kind of person who wanted to get married — but the kind of person who would propose to her boyfriend as the credits rolled on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Jackson, 46, decided to pop the question to her boyfriend of 17 years, David Bell, 48, at a Christmas Day screening of the latest instalment of the franchise. 

"Dave's been a fan since he was a kid. He has photos of himself dressed as Darth Vader as young as probably five or six and has been collecting figures for a long time," Jackson said. 

"I just thought with Star Wars ending, this would be a good way to start a new beginning."

Jackson and Bell have been weaving in and out of each other's lives since they were toddlers at a daycare centre in Charlottetown, P.E.I. 

Submitted by Melanie Jackson

"He remembers we went to daycare together. I don't remember that," Jackson said. "And then we became friends. Our paths crossed again in high school."

Jackson said after high school, the two kept in touch but it wasn't until she was 29 that they decided to become a couple. 

She had the engagement ring custom-made in July and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop the question. 

That's when she thought of Star Wars.

Jackson was hoping the theatre would be empty since it was Christmas Day, but there were about 40 other people there.

She said she nervously scanned the room moments before reaching for the ring, to make sure the couple was alone. 

"Just as the final song was playing, I told him, 'I have one more Christmas present to give you,'" Jackson said.

"I reached in my purse and I pulled out the box and I opened the box and I said, 'Will you marry me, David?' And he just smiled and said, 'Of course.'"

Even though Jackson wasn't always sure she wanted to get married, she was certain that if she did, she would be the one popping the question. 

Submitted by Melanie Jackson

"I knew a long time ago that Dave would never be the type that would get down on bended knee. I mean, he's romantic, but not in that kind of ... conventional way, and I kind of like to smash gender roles." 

After the proposal, Bell couldn't keep the smile off his face, Jackson said. 

"The universe just kind of worked its magic and we've managed to stay together this long, so I feel we'll be together 'till we're at one with the force," she said. 

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