Carrie Fisher Remembered Through Fan Gatherings and Lightsaber Vigils Around the Country

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At times, it feels like this year has been one vigil after another, all offered in remembrance of loved ones both near and far. After the recent loss of Carrie Fisher, veritable legions of Star Wars fans turned out in droves to lightsaber vigils held in their own communities throughout the country. It seems, really, the only way to send off someone who was able to touch so many lives with her work, not the least of which being her revolutionary role as Princess Leia (later promoted to General Leia) in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Jeff Rowan, who organized the Anaheim, California gathering said as much: “It was a random thing. I decided that I think we should be paying homage to her and a lightsaber vigil was very fitting – even though technically she never really even carried a lightsaber – but I thought that it was a very fitting way for us to say goodbye to her.”  There were many more vigils held elsewhere throughout the country, including the Alamo Drafthouse theaters in Austin, TX, which held special screenings of some of her more iconic works.

Similar vigils were held for other actors who passed this year, such as Alan Rickman. Much in the same way Dumbledore was remembered in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rickman was remembered with a wandlight vigil in communities all around the world.

Fisher passed days after suffering a massive heart attack on a plane ride home to LAX. When news broke, the world held its collective breath, waiting for more updates minute-by-minute. Eventually, her condition stabilized, and it felt like (for at least a moment) the world could exhale. This eventually served to set everyone up, however, for an even more distressing crash as she passed shortly thereafter. What’s more, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed just a day or so after Fisher. Her last words were, according to her son, “I want to be with Carrie.”

The outpouring of love and support from fans both online and off has nothing been short of heartbreaking.

Take care of yourselves and each other out there, okay?

(via Rolling Stone)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.