We need to grab a whole tissue box for this last night’s episode. The Beverly Hill 90210 reboot paid tribute to Luke Perry in the most loving way. The spin-off of the popular ’90s, teen-centric series premiered on FOX on Aug. 8. While the entire cast reunited for the meta take on their lives, the ensemble also honored their late fellow cast member.
It was an emotional premiere for the whole cast and fans who had grown with them. OG cast member Luke Perry, who played Dylan McKay on the original series, passed away from a stroke in March at the age of 52. His cast mates chose to pay tribute to him throughout the premiere of the Beverly Hills 90210 revival. During the revival, Gabrielle Carteris took a moment to share how excited she was that “we are all here.” With a tone of solemnity, Jason Priestly said, “I wish that were true.” As the episode went on, star Tori Spelling commented on how the cast was a family. “We’re not all gonna be here forever, “ Spelling said while addressing the group. “But we made something that will be.” Priestly, then, raised his champagne glass and offered a two-word toast: “To Luke.”
The premiere ended with Jennie Garth and Spelling sitting together watching one of the original episodes of 90210. Spelling, resting her head on Garth’s shoulder, watched a scene between characters Dylan McKay (Perry) and Brandon Walsh (Priestly). “Welcome to paradise man,” a young Perry said in the scene. “Welcome to your dream come true.” The camera then zoomed to a picture of Perry with the words, “For our friend Luke Perry. 1966 – 2019)” below the image.
Garth and Spelling, who helped develop the revival, opened up about the cathartic feeling they had reuniting with the cast during such a painful loss. “The timing was something that seemed horrific, but in a weird, sort of universal way, it was a way for us to all be together during an incomprehensible, painful time,” Garth told TODAY. “I think that that was really good for all of us actually and he was with us every second of the time.”
Spelling reiterated the sentiment to Us Weekly, sharing that the entire cast, “really wanted to honor him and to pay tribute” to their late cast member. “We didn’t want to make it a spectacle or kind of make it feel like it was capitalizing on anything unfortunate that happened,” Spelling told the outlet. “What plays out in the first episode is a little bit based on the story that played out in real life.”