AceShowbiz - It's been 40 years since the first installment of "Star Wars" movie series, "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope", hit the theaters in 1977. To commemorate the film, fans, creators and cast members gather at the "Star Wars Celebration" in Orlando, Florida.
The annual fan-gathering kicked off on Thursday, April 13 with a huge panel called 40 Years of Star Wars. The creator of "Star Wars" saga George Lucas and Harrison Ford surprised fans as they joined previously announced guests such as Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid, Peter Mayhew and more. Lucas spoke about the origins of the "Star Wars" franchise to host Warwick Davis.
"The idea was simply to do a high adventure film with meaningful, psychological themes," he said. When asked about the casting process of the three lead characters of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo, the 72-year-old filmmaker said some screen tests took place in attempt to find the perfect combination of actors. "I wanted them to have the chemistry of working together built in," he shared.
The 90-minute panel concluded with a remembrance of Carrie Fisher, with Lucas delivering a tribute. "She played a part that was very smart, and she was having to hold her own against two big lugs, goofballs that were screwing everything up," he said of the Princess Leia depicter. "She was the boss. It was her war, and when I cast it, I said I want somebody young to play the part. I want somebody very young."
Lucasfilm and Disney also screened a five-minute video with behind-the-scenes footage from her days as Princess Leia, past interviews and remembrances from her co-stars. Prior to video screening, Fisher's daughter, Billy Lourd, took the stage to talk briefly about her late mother.
"In our world, Star Wars ultimately became our religion, our family and our way of life. I wanted to be here with all of you because I know many of you feel the same way," Lourd emotionally spoke in front of a crowd of fans while donning Leia's signature white dress from the 1977 "Star Wars" film.
Fans at the 40th-anniversary panel also received an exclusive Fisher remembrance poster.
Exclusive Leia/Carrie Fisher tribute poster after the 40th anniversary panel pic.twitter.com/cJmFfczFWv— Josh @ SWCO (@jvasquez__) April 13, 2017