Star Wars creator George Lucas was among those who paid tribute to late star Carrie Fisher at the start of Star Wars Celebration Thursday in Orlando. Star Wars family and fans have been mourning the loss of the actress who made Princess Leia a cultural icon since she tragically passed away last December of a heart attack. The loss came after Fisher completed her role in The Last Jedi, and plans are still up in the air as to how to address Leia’s fate in Episode IX.

Part of Lucas’ appearance at Star Wars Celebration included memories of Fisher during filming of the classic Episode IV: A New Hope. Speaking on stage at the convention, Lucas said:

“She wasn’t just an actress with guys’ clothes on and she becomes a hero. She was a princess, a senator, and she played a part that was very smart, and she had to hold her own against tow big lugs, two big goofballs. She was the boss, it was her war. I wanted someone young to play the part. When Carrie was the character, she was very smart, very bold, very thoughtful. There really wasn’t much of a question. There aren’t that many people like her. There’s one in a billion.”

Also paying tribute to Fisher was Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, who appeared with her mother in The Force Awakens. Lourd said to fans, “My mom used to always say she didn’t know where Princess Leia ended, and where Carrie Fisher began.”

Star Wars 7 General Leia Organa Carrie Fisher Star Wars 40th Anniversary Celebration Panel Remembers Carrie Fisher


Punctuating the tribute Thursday was the unveiling of a tribute video to Fisher (see above), which features clips of Fisher in the original Star Wars trilogy, along with footage from The Force Awakens. The video also highlighted several behind the scenes clips from the various Star Wars films and hilarious interviews with the actress, from over the years. Part of the video includes images of Fisher with her mom Debbie Reynolds, who shockingly passed away a day after daughter last year.

The Star Wars Celebration 40th anniversary panel tribute to Fisher won’t be the only time the actress and screenwriter will be commemorated this weekend. Mark Hamill is scheduled to host the event at Star Wars Celebration Friday in a tribute that will no doubt be fit for a princess. It was also recently confirmed by her brother that Fisher may appear in Star Wars: Episode IX via footage that the actress recorded prior to her passing.

NEXT: What Will Leia’s Role Be in Star Wars: Episode IX?