The cast of Star Wars is remembering their fallen princess-turned-general.
In a new cover story for Vanity Fair, the stars of the saga’s latest installment, The Last Jedi, share their fond memories of Carrie Fisher on set — along with the wise advice she gave them. As the saga’s latest female lead, Daisy Ridley recalls how the actress behind the iconic hair buns helped her deal with the expectations that come with joining the vaunted franchise.
“Carrie lived her life the way she wanted to, never apologizing for anything, which is something I’m still learning,” Ridley said. “ ‘Embarrassed’ is the wrong word, but there were times through it all when I felt like I was … shrinking. And she told me never to shrink away from it — that it should be enjoyed.”
The story also showcases several pictures of the cast, including a solo shot of Fisher in her General Leia getup and a sweet image in which she cuddles up to daughter Billie Lourd, who plays Lieutenant Kaydel Connix in the film.
For his part, John Boyega recalled how Fisher had kind words for him following backlash from several detractors over the casting of a black actor as a stormtrooper. “I remember — and forgive me, I’m going to drop the f-bomb, but that’s just Carrie — she said, ‘Ah, boohoo, who f—- cares? You just do you,’ ” he said. “Words like that give you strength. I bore witness in a million ways to her sharing her wisdom with Daisy too.”
Fisher’s untimely death last December left Star Wars‘ devastated cast and filmmakers at a loss on how to move on.
“She was having a blast,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair. “The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison [Ford] was front and center on VII, and Mark [Hamill] is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”
Hamill himself admits he may still be in denial about her death.
“I can’t say that phrase, what you just said: Carrie’s name and then the d-word,” he said. “Because I think of her in the present tense. Maybe it’s a form of denial, but she’s so vibrant in my mind, and so vital a part of the family, that I can’t imagine it without her. It’s just so untimely, and I’m so angry.”
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Hamill also referenced his own infatuation with Fisher during their early days working on Star Wars, saying the two ultimately decided not to pursue something romantic.
“We were really attracted to each other. We got to the point where we were having our make-out sessions — and then we pulled back,” Hamill said. “A great way to cool any amorous feelings is laughter, and Carrie had this sort of Auntie Mame desire to find humor in everything. We also realized that, if we did this, everything would fundamentally change. It’s the When Harry Met Sally plot — can we still be friends after intimacy? Wisely, we avoided that.”