Amongst the many celebrities that we lost in 2016 was Carrie Fisher, whose portrayal of a brave rebel princess was equally as important as her interest in advocating for mental health awareness as well as women's rights. Now, Star Wars is honoring the legendary actress with a series of moving tributes created for the Star Wars Celebration event held in Orlando, Florida, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of A New Hope.
Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher's daughter, made a surprise appearance at the gala. Following George Lucas' comments on the indelible effect Carrie had on both Star Wars and the entertainment industry at large, Billie addressed the audience with some moving remarks.
"That was why she loved you," Billie said to fans, "because you accepted and embraced all of her: the strong soldier of a woman she was and also the vulnerable side of her who often openly fought her own dark side, knowing early on that we all have a dark side of our own . . . Nothing about her was a performance. She loved you, she loved these movies, she loved the people she got to make them with, and she loved this incredible character she got to create, this force called Leia."
Billie concluded her speech by reciting Leia's legendary plea to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The official Star Wars twitter account also posted this moving video homage to Carrie:
It was recently revealed that the late actress would, in fact, make a a posthumous appearance in Star Wars Episode IX: The Last Jedi, after her family gave Lucasfilm permission to use footage shot before her death. Episode IX will debut in theaters on May 23rd, 2019.