Belfast Telegraph

Billie Lourd returns to public eye at Star Wars Celebration

The young star wore a custom Tom Ford gown similar to the famed outfit her mother wore as Princess Leia.

Actress Billie Lourd returned to the spotlight on Thursday (13Apr17) to pay tribute to her late mother Carrie Fisher at the Star Wars Celebration event in Orlando, Florida.

The 24-year-old has been laying low since losing her mum Carrie and grandmother Debbie Reynolds within a day of one another in late December (16), and she skipped a public memorial for the two screen icons in Los Angeles on 25 March (17).

However, the Scream Queens star decided to use the annual sci-fi convention on Thursday to officially make her return to the public eye, and she honoured Carrie by wearing a white custom Tom Ford dress with long sleeves, reminiscent of the famous outfit the Star Wars legend modelled in earlier films in her role as Princess Leia.

Franchise creator George Lucas and producer Kathleen Kennedy introduced Billie to the stage, before the actress delivered a heartfelt speech in memory of her mother, who she starred alongside in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"My mum used to say she never knew where Princess Leia ended and Carrie Fisher began," Billie started. "She went from being an unknown actress, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, to Princess Leia...

"She was imperfect in many ways, but her imperfections and willingness to speak about them are what made her more than perfect. My mum, like Leia, wasn't ever afraid to speak her mind and say things that might have made most people uncomfortable, but not me and not you. That was why she loved you, because you accepted and embraced all of her."

Billie added to the fans, "She loved you. She loved these movies. And she loved this force called Leia..."

"In our world, Star Wars became a religion and a way of life," she continued. "I wanted to be here with you because I know you feel the same way."

A video tribute featuring clips of Fisher both on set and off then aired at the Star Wars Celebration, which was live-streamed online.

Billie appeared as Lieutenant Connix in The Force Awakens, and will return in the same role for the forthcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is released in December (17).

Fisher had completed her scenes for The Last Jedi before she died from a heart attack in December (16), and unused clips will reportedly feature in the follow-up, Star Wars: Episode IX, which is slated to hit cinemas in 2019.

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