It’s May The 4th, also known as Star Wars Day and it’s kind of an important one. 40 years ago this May, the very best Star Wars movie ever made came to movie theaters.
I know, many of you will say “Wait, no, The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980, so the 40th anniversary of the best Star Wars movie ever made was actually in 2020.”
Here’s the thing: I can’t pick between that film and Return Of The Jedi so I rank them as a tie for best Star Wars movie ever made. I love them both equally, and nothing across the rest of the Lucasfilm franchise even comes close.
Lourd, who played Resistance Lt. Connix alongside Fisher in the final Skywalker saga films, wasn’t always a fan of the films. She recalled first discovering the deep affection the fans had for Carrie and her character while attending a convention as a kid. “It was the first time I realized how widespread and deep people’s love for Leia was,” she said. “People waited in line for hours just to meet her. People had tattoos of her. People named their children after her. People had stories of how she saved their lives. It was a side of my mom I had never seen before and it was magical.”
The posthumous achievement adds Fisher’s name to the more than 2,000 stars lining the streets around downtown Hollywood, including stars for her parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, and her on-screen brother Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill, who unveiled his star in 2018.
“Today, May the 4th be Carrie Frances Fisher Day,” Hamill said at the start of the ceremony, which was also attended by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
“She was so charming, so funny, so adorable, so wise beyond her years,” Hamill recalled, “and brutally frank.”
Tossing her jacket to Hamill’s daughter, Lourd gave a heartfelt memorial to her mother’s enduring legacy, which included acclaimed work as a writer and advocate for mental health. “I adore you,” Lourd told the crowd that had gathered in the earlier rain. “She adored you.”
Fisher’s passing more than 6 years and a half years ago touched off Lourd’s own adoration for her mother’s work. “I have fallen deeply in love with Leia and the entire Star Wars universe,” she said, calling herself an “obsessive Star Wars fan,” to cheers from the crowd. “I sob when I watch The Mandalorian, I have a lightsaber lamp in my living room, and X-wing tiles in my bathroom,” she said. “People’s love for Leia didn’t die with my mom. It continues to get passed on from generation to generation, just like my mom passed it on to me.
Kneeling before Carrie Fisher’s star, Lourd paid one final tribute, tossing some of her mother’s glitter into the air. “My mom was glitter,” Lourd said. “She left a mark of her sparkle on everyone she met.”
Always in motion is the meaning of Star Wars. Like most fans, the myriad of meanings Star Wars has held for me has been ever-changing. And I’m pleased to report that, since attending Star Wars Celebration in London, Star Wars’ meaning has transformed for me once again — only this time, it doesn’t seem to want to settle.
If I had to put words on it, I’d say that today, Star Wars means connection. And, from a certain point of view, it always has. As a young, Queer kid, Star Wars was a lifeline that allowed me to relate to and make friends with boys in my class when doing so felt impossible. The films and video games all created deeper connections between my siblings and me. And during the COVID-19 lockdown, my return to Star Wars provided entertainment, inspiration, and a way for me to connect with friends and fans across the world.
After my time in London, I started to view the relationships I’ve developed through Star Wars like stars in a galaxy — stars that are all reaching out to each other through the Force and fusing to create an invisible, magical, ineffable feeling — a feeling that has made answering this prompt nothing short of unthinkable! But, you know, do or do not, there is no try, yada, yada–we get it, Yoda!
Star Wars is vigorously becoming a much deeper, more complex framework for how I navigate my life. Both Star Wars and the friends I have made because of it have proven to be effective motivators for connecting with myself, others, and, perhaps most surprisingly, with Forces bigger than all of us. Happy May the 4th and Gay the Force be with you all, always.
Star Wars to me is defined by community. Throughout the series and associated stories, there’s such an emphasis put on the relationships we have with one another. Whether it’s watching the Resistance grow from the hope of just a few people, or seeing a ragtag group of misfits find family in each other, or even just watching the Ewoks form a culture-wide infatuation with C-3PO, there’s this consistent togetherness that is so integral to the story. Then, in the real world, I think of the films in relation to the people around me. I think of watching A New Hope for the first time with my brothers, all huddled together on our couch; or our mom picking us up early from school to see Revenge of the Sith on opening day at our local, one-screen theater in small town New Jersey.
Now, I associate Star Wars with the wonderful people I’ve met through the fandom and the innumerable ways they have changed me. Some of the most meaningful people in my life, I have met through this community and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Star Wars has given me a lot, but the most important thing it has given me is the knowledge that while our experiences may define us, it’s the people we go through them with that give us value.
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