In addition to the Carrie Fisher Tribute on April 13, Star Wars Celebration organized a one-man tribute to Fisher from her co-star and friend Mark Hamill. Ranging from celebrating Fisher’s wit to lamenting her early death, it was an emotional panel for Hamill.
As he kicked things off, Hamill emphasized how he wished this wasn’t happening. “Well, here’s a panel I was hoping wouldn’t come for another 30 years,” he opened. “Someone once wrote when someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure. And here, today, we’re here to celebrate the treasure that was Carrie Frances Fisher.”
“There’s the five stages of grief,” he continued, “and just when I think I’ve gotten to acceptance, I bounce back to anger – because I’m mad. She should be here. She made every celebration so much fun. She deserved to be here.”
“I’m still not thinking of her in past tense,” he said, “Certain people have a vitality and an energy so strong that it reverberates beyond their lack of physical presence.”
Hamill also shared the history of his and Fisher’s relationship. “I was unprepared,” he said, of meeting her for the first time. “I was just bowled over by her humor and her wit: how sardonic she was, how dark she was. Within 20 minutes she was telling me stories, personal stories about her mother and her father, that I wouldn’t have shared with you if I’d known you for ten years.”
As filming progressed, Hamill found himself “under her spell.” He said, “I didn’t want to share her with Harrison [Ford], I didn’t want to share her with anybody…At the same time, as attracted as I was to her, I thought, ‘I couldn’t handle her as a girlfriend. She’s too much.’ She’s what you’d call a high-maintenance relationship.”
Though they never pursued a relationship, they did kiss once. After getting into an argument about who was the better kisser, they ended up “making out on the couch like a couple of horny teenagers.” The kiss ended, appropriately, in laughter. “We dodged a bullet there,” said Hamill, “because we had the fun without the responsibility.”
“We were more like brother and sister than we realized,” Hamill also said, “because we loved each other, but we fought, and we criticized, and we were judgmental. And we’d get fed up with one another.”
Hamill also spoke about Fisher’s magnetic personality. “People say, ‘Was she your best friend?’ Well no, I don’t think so. The thing that she had about her, which no one else could match: She made you feel, when you were in her presence, like you were her best friend. She was so laser focused on you, and so engaging, that it was exhilarating to be around her.”
Despite his sorrow at Fisher’s death, Hamill tried to find the funny side of things. “Carrie would want us to be happy,” he said. “She wouldn’t want us to be consumed by grief. She was all about having fun everyday.”
He joked, “She’s looking down from the celestial stratosphere with those big brown eyes, that sly smile on her face, as she lovingly extends me the middle finger.”
“And that’s how I want you to think of her. That was Carrie.”
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