[NEWS] Leia Takes Celebration

She may have been a princess but Leia Organa was definitely the reigning Queen of Celebration this year.  From the presence of Carrie Fisher to a Sunday panel focused on the character, Leia was evident around every turn at the convention and that’s a really good thing.  Everywhere you looked in the exhibit hall, you could see another fangirl cosplaying as her or a t-shirt with her on it or even see her in artwork, toys, and posters displayed in booths.

Any time you get to spend in the presence of Carrie Fisher is absolutely worth it.  The woman is essentially acting royalty and never fails to get a laugh out of everyone.  Sitting in on her panel was a joy from the moment she stepped on stage and introduced her faithful dog companion Gary as BB-8’s stunt double.  She spoke a little bit about filming Episode VII and referred to it as a “camp reunion” for all those who’d worked together before and how the she’s “so bad at [spoilers] that they have to keep [her] at home” when it comes to most of these press tours.  Carrie even talked about filming the Original Trilogy and how they all turned up drunk to film those first Cloud City scenes thanks to a party with the Rolling Stones.

The highlight though was watching Carrie sprawl on the stage floor to sign James Arnold Taylor’s custom Leia shoes while Gary-the-Dog tried to “help”.  It was clear throughout that she has fond memories of working on the saga and loves the movies just as much as we the fans do.

The real lasting effect of Carrie’s work as Leia was never more readily evident than during the What Princess Leia Means To Me panel on Sunday afternoon.  It’s rare that you get to sit in on a panel with such a great topic and discussion by the panelists followed by the most respectful question/answer session I’ve ever had the pleasure to sit in on.  Panelists Jen Heddle, Christie Golden, Catherine Taber, Cat Staggs, Katie Cook, and Rayne Roberts spoke at length about what Leia meant to them while they were growing up and what she means to them now and to the greater world of pop culture and science fiction.  The panel acknowledged that Leia wouldn’t have been the same character if Carrie Fisher hadn’t played her and looked forward to seeing what new character barriers she might break in the Sequel Trilogy.

Given the impact that all of these women have on Star Wars (ie: Rayne Roberts is a member of the story group and Jen Heddle is a senior editor for Lucasfilm,) I feel incredibly confident in the direction that Star Wars is going not only for Leia Organa but also for the future of the female characters in the universe.  The fans are behind it, the creators are behind it.  With Leia as a model, how can Lucasfilm go wrong?

As usual for these, my live tweets of the panels are storified below for your reference.