The father of Star Wars is paying tribute to his favorite princess.
George Lucas honored the late Carrie Fisher’s memory at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando on Thursday, where the films’ stars from past and present gathered to reflect on the franchise’s 40th year.
“She was a princess, she was a senator, she played a part that was very smart, and she was having to hold her own against two big lugs, goofballs that were screwing everything up,” Lucas said of Fisher, who died in December at the age of 60.
“But she was the boss, it was her war, and when I cast it, I said I really wanted somebody young to play the part … and when Carrie came in, she was that character,” he continued. “She was very strong, very smart, very funny, very bold, very tough and there really wasn’t much of a question.”
Lucas added, “There are not very many people like her. They’re one in a billion. And for this particular part, it was absolutely perfect because she could hold her own against anybody. She wore a dress through the whole thing, but she was the toughest one in the group.”
Not only did she pull the part off “brilliantly,” Lucas noted that “at the same time, she was fun to be with. She kept the whole group going.”
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He concluded by saying that Fisher will “always be the princess who took command and never backed down, never was in jeopardy. She was always helping the other guys get out of the messes they created. We’ll all love her forever and ever.”
Star Wars mega producer Kathleen Kennedy joined Lucas onstage to pay tribute to Fisher, saying, “I think that there was no greater honor than working with the late and truly great Carrie Fisher. She was unlike anyone you’ve known, unlike anyone in this room. Her humor, her insight, her brilliance. When you associate Princess Leia, you realize that was Carrie.”
Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd made her first public appearance since the actress’ death at the event on Thursday. She took the stage wearing a custom white Tom Ford dress in honor of her late mother’s iconic Princess Leia ensemble.
“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.”