Entertainment

Honoring Princess Leia: Fans gather to pay tribute to Carrie Fisher's legacy

EL PASO, Texas - The Alama Drafthouse Friday night was lit up with the glow of dozens of lightsabers as fans gathered to say farewell to their fearless princess. 

Actress Carrie Fisher, who died Tuesday, was best known for playing the tough-talking Princess Leia who defied Empire generals and helped organize the rebellion.

Fisher had been hospitalized since Dec. 23 after falling ill aboard a flight and being treated by paramedics at the Los Angeles airport. Her mother and El Paso native, 84-year-old Debbie Reynolds, died Wednesday.

To honor her  legacy, the Alamo Drafthouse Montecillo invited Jedis of all ages to join them for a special lightsaber vigil.

Attendees dressed up as their favorite Star Wars characters, including Wookiees, Bounty Hunters, Ewoks, and Stormtroopers.

"We are very saddened by the loss of Carrie Fisher and wanted to pay tribute to the immeasurable impact she has had on our culture with this gesture of fellowship and remembrance," said Alamo Drafthouse Montecillo Programming Director, Robert Saucedo.

The local chapter of the 501st Legion, a dedicated group of fans with elaborate costumes, was also there to help pay tribute to the fallen princess and general.

One man dressed up as Lord Vader spoke to ABC-7.  "For Star Wars fans, this is a very important day," he said. "We are saying goodbye to one of our beloved princesses. She will always be our princess, and she will continue on in our hearts. Even those on the dark side will remember her."

Fans paid tribute by holding their lightsabers high in the air, observing a moment of silence for Fisher. The tribute was also for Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds. 

One man said, "Carrie Fisher had a huge impact on hundreds of lives, thousands of lives, even millions of lives."

"Everyone regards her as our princess," said one fan about Fisher. "For me, I grew up with her. She was my first crush, my first love. We felt like we needed to say goodbye."

When asked why Fisher was so beloved, he said, "She's the root of the Star Wars saga. She's the inner strength for Luke, for Han, for many of the characters. It looked like she was going to play an important part in this new trilogy, but we'll have to see how that pans out now that she's passed."

It was announced Friday that Carrie Fisher and mother Debbie Reynolds will be buried together.

Debbie Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, said the actresses will be buried together at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills, which is the final resting place of many celebrities.

Fisher says no date for the funeral has been set, but it will be private. A public memorial is being contemplated, but no plans have been finalized.

Earlier Friday, the Los Angeles coroner's office released Fisher's body to her family. Chief of Operations Brian Elias says an examination of Fisher was done, but he stopped short of calling it an autopsy and would not provide any details on what tests were done.


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