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The Women of Star Wars: The Last Jedi Talk About Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia poster for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out tomorrow and early reactions have been incredible. I want to know as little about it as possible before going in so I can be as delighted and surprised as all of the people who posted on Twitter the night of the premiere. I’m excited because I want to delve back into the Star Wars Universe of course, but I’m most curious to see Carrie Fisher’s last performance as Princess Leia.

Princess Leia poster for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I went to the press conference for The Last Jedi a couple of weeks ago and being a huge Carrie Fisher fan – not just as the character Princess Leia, but as a hilarious and gifted writer – I was curious how the cast felt about her being in the film and not being with them. Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly was the press conference moderator and he asked the women in the cast about the impact that Fisher and Princess Leia had on their lives. Unlike the original Star Wars with only one woman character, The Last Jedi features many strong women including Captain Phasma played by Gwendoline Christie.

She first saw Star Wars when she was six. She remembers thinking that Princess Leia was something very different. Leia was interesting, smart funny and bold. She didn’t care what people thought about her and no one is going to tell her what to do.

“And she doesn’t look the same as a sort of homogenized presentation of a woman that we had been used to seeing,” she said. “So 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, 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.”

Laura Dern spoke of the profound impact that Fisher, not only as Leia, had on generations of women. She lived her life boldly and fearlessly.

It was that ability to live fearlessly in the spotlight that impressed newcomer Kelly Marie Tran who plays Rose Tico, a resistance mechanic. Star Wars is her first major acting role and early reactions say she is a star.

“I think that something about Carrie that I really look up to is, and something I didn’t realize until recently, was just how much courage it takes to truly be yourself when you’re on a public platform or when possibly a lot of people will be looking at you,” she said. “She was so unapologetic and so openly herself and that is something that I am really trying to do, and it’s hard.”

“What an example, you know? And I am so fortunate to have met her and I think that she will really live on forever,” Tran said.

Star Wars opens everywhere December 15th. Here’s the latest trailer.

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