Star Wars Celebration began on Thursday, April 13, 2017, commemorating 40 years of the franchise. While the mood is energetic for both those involved in the series and fans attending, Carrie Fisher’s missing presence is deeply felt by all.
To mourn the loss of Fisher together, Thursday’s events during Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida, closed with a video tribute to Fisher who died unexpectedly in late 2016 after suffering cardiac arrest. The video included a look at Fisher’s life as Leia Organa, her audition, briefly showed her on the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with director Rian Johnson, and several instances when she made people laugh with her rapid fire wit.
Before the video, Star Wars director George Lucas, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and Fisher’s daughter, actress Billie Lourd, remembered the beloved star.
“Carrie Fisher, I said…I said many times now, she really is a modern woman, and she isn’t just a woman where you put guy clothes on her and she becomes a hero,” Lucas told the audience. “She was a princess, she was a senator, and she played a part that was very smart. And she had to hold her own with two big lugs, these goofballs who were screwing everything up. but it was her war.”
“She loved you because you embraced all of her,” Lourd said, while wearing a white gown reminiscent of Princess Leia’s costume in A New Hope. “The strong solider she was and the vulnerable side, who fought her own dark side.”
Lourd, who had a cameo with her mother in 2015’s The Force Awakens, went on to say, “She loved this incredible character she got to create – this force, called Leia.”
Lourd also stood in for her mother in a group photo with Lucas, Kennedy, and series stars Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.
After the tribute video ended, a curtain rose to reveal a full orchestra led by none other than Star Wars music composer, John Williams. Once he calmed the frenzied crowd, Williams led the orchestra in playing “Princess Leia’s theme.” Tears were shed and were she there, Fisher undoubtedly would’ve cracked everyone up with a perfectly inappropriate joke.
Below are the tribute video and the full tribute with Lucas, Kennedy, Lourd, and Williams.