To honor Carrie Fisher, the actress, author, and candid revolutionary who passed away on Tuesday, Star Wars (and When Harry Met Sally…?) fans held lightsaber vigils on Wednesday night. The idea originated from the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX, where those in mourning were invited to “dress up as their favorite STAR WARS characters, bring along as many lightsabers as you own, and invite your fellow Wookiees, Bounty Hunters, Ewoks, and Stormtroopers,” although similar tributes popped up across the country.
“That’s part of the role model of Princess Leia is she’s a strong character for women and little girls now,” said Niki Powers, who attended the Austin commemoration. “It’s incredibly sad that Carrie Fisher has passed away, but Princess Leia’s legacy will live on.” Jeff Rowan, who organized a vigil at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District, told the Hollywood Reporter, “I decided to go ahead and make an event myself… In all honesty, The Empire Strikes Back was the first movie I ever went to see in the theater and to this day Star Wars has played a huge part in my life. I hope Disney lets us in.”
They did, and droves of long-time fans and Star Wars newcomers in both Austin and Los Angeles raised their lightsabers — or, in the words of George Lucas, “laser words” — to the sky for Princess Leia-turned-General Organa.