Mark Hamill Remembers Carrie Fisher: ‘The Perfect Person in the Perfect Role’ as Leia

"It’s hard to think of her in the past tense," Hamill said. "There are people that you encounter in life that are so vibrant and make such a profound impact on you, they stay with you forever."
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in 2014
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in 2014
Araya Doheny/Getty

Mark Hamill is honoring his late “Star Wars” co-star Carrie Fisher on the informal “Star Wars Day” May the 4th, which coincides with Fisher receiving a long-overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fisher’s turn as Princess Leia in 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope” marked only her second film role following “Shampoo.” Fisher was 19 years old, five years younger than Hamill, who recalled meeting her for the first time over dinner in a new interview with Variety.

“I was completely unprepared for the person I met, who just was overwhelming, in the sense that she seemed so much wiser than her years,” Hamill said. “Very funny, very spontaneous, very witty, disarmingly candid.”

Hamill continued, “[She was] the perfect person in the perfect role. She was as far from a damsel in distress as you could get. She was in charge of her own rescue. I think that first impression that the audience got really established how they perceived Carrie overall, and she just grew from there.”

After the immediate success of the original film, Hamill recalled that Fisher was the first among the ensemble cast to embrace the newfound fame, realizing that “the good far outweighs the bad.”

“She embraced it in a way that was far beyond me,” Hamill said. “She loved going to the conventions, meeting the fans. She just reveled in it.”

Hamill summed up, “It’s hard to think of her in the past tense. There are people that you encounter in life that are so vibrant and make such a profound impact on you, they stay with you forever. Had she only done Princess Leia, that would be enough. Had she just written one book, that alone would be something that would be enough to satisfy someone who wanted to make a mark on the world. But she did it from every different direction. She really was just such an original.”

Fisher died at age 60 in December 2016. Daughter Billie Lourd later revealed that “The Rise of Skywalker” was “going to be Leia’s movie” focused on her character.

Lourd recently shared that she did not invite Fisher’s siblings, Todd and Joely Fisher, to her mother’s May 4 Walk of Fame ceremony.

“Unfortunately, because they publicly attacked me, I have to publicly respond,” Lourd wrote in a press statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). “The truth is I did not invite them to this ceremony. They know why.”

The “American Horror Story” actress added, “Days after my mom died, her brother and her sister chose to process their grief publicly and capitalize on my mother’s death, by doing multiple interviews and selling individual books for a lot of money, with my mom and my grandmother’s deaths as the subject. I found out they had done this through the press. They never consulted me or considered how this would affect our relationship. The truth of my mom’s very complicated relationship with her family is only known by me and those who were actually close to her. Though I recognize they have every right to do whatever they choose, their actions were very hurtful to me at the most difficult time in my life. I chose to and still choose to deal with her loss in a much different way.”

Lourd concluded, “To be clear — there is no feud. We have no relationship. This was a conscious decision on my part to break a cycle with a way of life I want no part of for myself or my children.”

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