On Thursday night, Billie Lourd appeared at a Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of A New Hope, and to pay tribute to her mother, the late, great Carrie Fisher.
The devastating loss of Fisher in December, followed days later by her mother Debbie Reynolds, left fans especially concerned about the effects on Lourd, so her surprise appearance at the event, in a Princess Leia inspired dress by Tom Ford, initiated a standing ovation. You can see Lourd deliver some prepared remarks at about minute four of the video below, if you want to skip over George Lucas extolling Fisher’s virtues:
Lourd’s speech was primarily about how the role of Princess Leia shaped Fisher’s life in so many ways, and she thanked the people in the room as representative of her most passionate fans:
That was why she loved you, because you accepted and embraced all of her: the strong soldier of a woman she was and also the vulnerable side of her who often openly fought her own dark side, knowing early on that we all have a dark side of our own. Nothing about her was a performance. She loved you, she loved these movies, she loved the people she got to make them with, and she loved this incredible character she got to create, this force called Leia.
She ends by saying that her mother taught her three things: the “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi” speech, that “if life isn’t funny than it’s just true and that is unacceptable,” and finally that “the most evolved person is seemingly a contradiction. They’re both the strongest and most vulnerable person in the room. And that was her. That was Leia.”