The Women Of 'Star Wars’ Share The Big Impact Carrie Fisher And Princess Leia Had On Them

"I think she will always be an icon as Leia, but also as Carrie."

It's been nearly a year since Carrie Fisher passed away unexpectedly — robbing the world of a feminist icon, a laugh-out-loud comedian, and a true princess. While many may have found her via her comedy or her writing, it is the role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies that captured everyone's hearts as she was a strong female icon for young women all around the world.

At a recent press conference for Star Wars: The Last Jedi — the last installment Fisher was alive to film, out December 15 — the ladies of the flick were asked about she meant to them. Returning stars Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Gwendoline Christie (Capt. Phasma), as well as Laura Dern (Vice Adm. Amilyn Holdo) and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), weighed in on growing up watching the beloved actress and the character she played on the big screen.

Each female star onstage paid their own tribute to the Fisher the woman and Leia the character, proving that representation matters — especially in the Star Wars universe. Here's what they said:



GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE

Christie, best known for playing Brienne on Game of Thrones, said she first saw Leia when she was 6. Seeing Fisher in that role was "very significant" in her development because the character was interesting, smart, funny, courageous, and bold. Leia didn't care what people thought of her and she didn't want to be told what to do. Basically, it wasn't the typical female character.

"That was really instrumental to me as someone that didn't feel like they fitted that homogenized view of what a woman was supposed to be. That there was inspiration there," Christie said. "That you could be an individual and celebrate yourself and be successful without giving yourself over, without necessarily making some sort of terrible, huge compromise. So it was a big inspiration for me."

LAURA DERN

For Dern, it was perhaps more about Fisher herself as much as it was about Leia. "What moved me the most about the icon she gave us, but also what she gave us individually and personally, was to be who she was so directly and to be without shame," Dern said. "That's what moved me the most about the icon she gave us but also what she gave us literally and personally, which is to carry who she was so directly and to share her story and expect nothing less than any of us."

DAISY RIDLEY

For Ridley, this was a moment to look at a very specific and tangible example of Fisher's legacy: daughter — and fellow Star Wars star — Billie Lourd, who Ridley said has each and every quality mentioned at the conference like being smart, funny, and shameless. You know, overall pretty darn wonderful.

"I think Carrie bringing up a daughter who is all of those qualities, and then some, in this world — if that's what she did just her being her, I think that speaks volumes to what she did, her in the spotlight," Ridley added.

KELLY MARIE TRAN

"Something about Carrie I really look up to — and that I didn't realize until recently — was how much courage it takes to be yourself when you're on a public platform or constantly people will be looking at you," Tran, a fellow newcomer like Dern, said. "She was so unapologetic and so openly herself, and that is something that I've tried to do — but that's hard."

Tran was also in agreement with the other ladies, noting that she is "fortunate" to have met Fisher and she knows that her memory will "really live on forever." To that point, Tran said: "I think she will always be an icon as Leia, but also as Carrie. What an example, you know?"

(H/T: Vulture | Entertainment Weekly | SyFy)

Cover image via Lucasfilm

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