Star Wars Celebration: George Lucas honours Carrie Fisher with emotional tribute
George Lucas attends the Star Wars Celebration day 01 on April 13, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Carrie Fisher’s presence is looming large over this year’s Star Wars Celebration like a big, gaping wound.
The Princess Leia star — who died last December — was remembered as a “boss” by filmmaker George Lucas, who paid tribute to the actress at the end of the 40 Years of Star Wars panel.
“She’ll always be the princess who took command and never backed down,” he said. “She played a part that was very smart, and she had to hold her own against two big lugs, two big goofballs.”
Lucas recalled that when he was casting Princess Leia, he wanted someone young.
“When Carrie was the character, she was very smart, very bold, very thoughtful. There really wasn’t much of a question. There aren’t that many people like her. They’re one in a billion.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said Fisher — who will appear as Leia in this year’s Episode VIII — The Last Jedi and in Episode IX — will be remembered forever “even by those not yet old enough to know the words, ‘May the Force Be With You.”
A tribute video was played that gave fans in attendance their first glimpse of Fisher on the set of the upcoming Last Jedi.
Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd also took the stage to honour her mother.
“The most evolved person is a contradiction. They are both the strongest and most vulnerable person in the room — and that was her and that was Leia. Thank you for loving her and carrying on what she stands for. I’m beyond grateful.”
Star Wars composer John Williams — who Lucas called “the secret sauce” — conducted the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in an impromptu performance of Leia’s Theme, the main title song and the Imperial March.
As fans exited, the were given posters of Fisher in character with the words, “May the Force Be With You,” written underneath.