Harrison Ford has called his late Star Wars cast mate Carrie Fisher “brilliant” and “one-of-a-kind” in a touching tribute.
A spokesperson for Carrie’s actress daughter, Billie Lourd, announced the movie icon’s death on Tuesday, four days after she was hospitalised following a heart attack on board a flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday.
Her mother, Hollywood veteran Debbie Reynolds, promptly thanked fans for their love and support following the tragedy, as early tributes poured in from celebrity friends and fans, including Carrie’s Star Wars cast mates Billy Dee Williams and “devastated” Mark Hamill, who had “no words” to explain his sadness.
Now Harrison, who starred as Han Solo in the blockbuster franchise, has spoken out to honour Carrie, who played his onscreen lover Princess Leia in the sci-fi series.
In her recent memoir The Princess Diarist, the actress also revealed she and Harrison had enjoyed a three-month extra-marital affair while shooting Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in 1976.
“Carrie was one-of-a-kind… brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless,” Harrison wrote in a statement. “She lived her life, bravely… My thoughts are with her daughter Billie, her mother Debbie, her brother Todd, and her many friends. We will all miss her.”
Star Wars creator George Lucas also expressed his sadness: “Carrie and I have been friends most of our adult lives,” the 72-year-old film maker shared. “She was extremely smart; a talented actress, writer and comedienne with a very colourful personality that everyone loved.
“In Star Wars she was our great and powerful princess – feisty, wise and full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think.
“My heart and prayers are with Billie, Debbie and all Carrie’s family, friends and fans. She will be missed by all.”
Meanwhile, Disney boss Bob Iger revealed Carrie will be “sorely missed”, as producer Kathleen Kennedy, who serves as president of George’s Lucasfilm company, added, “Carrie holds such special place in the hearts of everyone at Lucasfilm it is difficult to think of a world without her.”
Revered director Steven Spielberg, who is close friends with Lucas, also offered up a few words in memory of Fisher, who he worked with on 1980 film The Blues Brothers.
“I have always stood in awe of Carrie,” he noted. “Her observations always made me laugh and gasp at the same time. She didn’t need The Force. She was a force of nature, of loyalty and of friendship. I will miss her very much.”
There was also a Twitter tribute from Samuel L. Jackson, who starred as Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
“The light in The Galaxy is dimmed by the loss of our Princess Leia,” he wrote. “May The Force Be With Her!! RIP”.
Reports suggest Carrie, who reprised her role as Princess Leia in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, had already completed filming scenes for the follow-up, Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is due for release next December.
She was also slated to appear in the ninth Star Wars movie, which begins shooting in 2018.