The Star Wars Celebration paid a moving tribute to Carrie Fisher during the 40th anniversary panel in Orlando, with a video montage and tributes from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas. That tribute, to an actress who is one of the cornerstones of the Star Wars franchise, continued today at the panel for Star Wars: Episode VIII- The Last Jedi.
Director Rian Johnson revealed that he took plenty of behind the scenes photos, many of which he shared with the audience. One picture showed Fisher on set with John Boyega and Oscar Isaac – Fisher with her feet up in style. Panel host Josh Gad, then went on to talk about Fisher, praising the tribute paid the day before, before asking what it was like to work with Fisher on The Last Jedi and continue to develop the great General (Princess) Leia.
“It was extraordinary, needless to say,” Kennedy answered. “Carrie is remarkable in the movie. What Rian wrote, and the performance she ends up giving, I think you guys are going to find that an amazing tribute to her talent.”
That provoked a strong reaction from the assembled fans, who loudly cheered her words. Johnson then added to the comments, while behind the scenes shots of him and Fisher were shown.
“It was such a moving tribute yesterday, I don’t know if I can add to that. I love her so much, I just adore her. I connected with her first and foremost as a writer. She’s a brilliant writer, with an incredible mind. I’d go to her house and we’d sit on her bed for hours, going through the script.”
Describing those meetings as “a kind of stream of consciousness, Jazz poetry sessions,” Johnson amused the audience when he revealed that he would scribble down everything she said:
“And then at the end of six hours, there would be this four word line of dialogue that would be the distillation of all that, that was brilliant.”
Though Johnson prefaced his comments by saying he felt he couldn’t add to the tribute, he did so wonderfully, in an elegant manner. Fisher deserves all of the praise for her dedication to the Star Wars franchise over the last 40 years. She is much missed by all, but the Star Wars Celebration is certainly honoring her in the best possible way.
Fisher will feature in The Last Jedi, and also in Episode IX, using previously shot footage. In The Last Jedi, we will hopefully see Leia reunite with her brother, Luke Skywalker.