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Billie Lourd Pays Moving Tribute to Mom Carrie Fisher: ‘Her Imperfections and Willingness to Speak About Them Made Her More Than Perfect’

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Meredith Jenks

The Force is stronger than ever in Carrie Fisher’s young Padawan.

Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd made her first public appearance since the actress’ death, bringing her mother’s spirit to the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando on Thursday.

Lourd, 24, took the stage wearing a custom white Tom Ford dress in honor of her late mother’s iconic Princess Leia ensemble. Lourd and Ford collaborated on the dress, which was meant to evoke a modern-day version of her mother’s famous Star Wars look.

“My mom used to say she never knew where Princess Leia ended and Carrie Fisher began,” Lourd said onstage. “She was imperfect in many ways but her imperfections and willingness to speak about them are what made her more than perfect. My mom, like Leia, wasn’t ever afraid to speak her mind and say things that might have made most people uncomfortable.”

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney

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The actress also paid tribute to “the strong soldier of a woman” who “often openly fought her own dark side, knowing early on that we all have a dark side to fight, whatever it may be. But she knew that it wasn’t about the fight you were fighting but how you fought it — the way you resisted.”

She ended her speech by remembering her mother’s legacy, saying: “She taught me by her own example, that the most evolved person is seemingly a contradiction — they are both the strongest and the most vulnerable person in the room. And that was her. That is Leia.”

Following Lourd’s speech, a tribute video played across the screen, featuring clips of Fisher from the Star Wars films, along with vintage outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage of the star during production. The montage also included many of the actress’ priceless quotes from various interviews throughout the years, well as glowing memories from her many costars, including Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.

Todd Williamson/Getty

Lourd appeared alongside her mother in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Lieutenant Connix, marking her feature-film debut. She’ll be reprising her role in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi sequel.

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Fisher, 60, died on Dec. 27, four days after going into cardiac arrest while aboard a plane. Her mother, Singin’ in the Rain icon Debbie Reynolds, died a day later following a stroke.

Lourd will next be seen in the new season of American Horror Story alongside Sarah Paulson.