Carrie Fisher Saluted By Fellow New Disney Legend Mark Hamill at D23 Expo

Nick Schager
The late Carrie Fisher in 2015's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
The late Carrie Fisher in 2015’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (Photo: Lucasfilm)

Disney’s grand annual expo, D23, opened today, with a ceremony for the newest inductees into the Disney Legends pantheon. Those honorees include (among others) honorees Oprah Winfrey, Mark Hamill, Jack Kirby, Whoopi Goldberg, Garry Marshall, Stan Lee, Julie Taymor, and the late Carrie Fisher, who unexpectedly passed away on Dec. 27 at age 60. At the emotional ceremony today, Disney’s head honcho Bob Iger, as well as Star Wars icon Hamill, paid stirring tribute to her life and career, and the impact she left on generations of movie fans.

After a tribute video played to an enthusiastic audience, Disney chairman and CEO Iger began his speech (above, via our own Marcus Errico’s tweet) by stating, “Carrie has been an iconic part of the Star Wars franchise, as you saw, from the very beginning, and she will always hold a very special place in our hearts, and in the hearts of fans around the world. We all miss her talent, her wit, and her friendship.” He then read a letter penned by Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd (which can be viewed above), in which Lourd says that “becoming a part of the Disney family was truly an amazing moment for her. She secretly always wanted to be a Disney princess, so getting to be a Disney princess and a Disney Legend would have been her ultimate dream.”

Iger was followed by the Luke Skywalker to Fisher’s Princess Leia, Hamill, who honored his sister-in-sci-fi history at the end of his own acceptance (via the above Yahoo Facebook video):

“What a great thrill it was to come back in The Force Awakens at that time in our lives. There was a comfort level with each other. We could rely on each other. And there was a deep respect. I know if she were here this morning, she would have flipped me the bird at least twice already. So thank you all so much.”

The D23 ceremony proved that, though Fisher has been gone for over half a year now, she’s certainly not been forgotten, and her newly crowned status as a “Disney Legend” will ensure that her legacy continues for decades to come — including with her role in this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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