Mark Hamill hon­ors ‘ space sis’ Car­rie Fisher

The ‘ Star Wars’ sib­lings were just as close off screen

USA TODAY International Edition - - LIFE - Carly Mal­len­baum

“I know if she were here this morn­ing, she would’ve flipped me the bird, at least twice al­ready.” Mark Hamill

ANAHEIM, CALIF. When Mark Hamill ac­cepted his Dis­ney Leg­end award at the D23 Expo con­ven­tion Fri­day, he couldn’t help but think about how Car­rie Fisher would act if she were there with him.

“I know if she were here this morn­ing, she would’ve flipped me the bird, at least twice al­ready,” he joked in front of a crowd of hun­dreds of Dis­ney fans at Anaheim Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

Hamill, who was hon­ored with the Dis­ney Leg­end tro­phy along­side Fisher, Oprah Win­frey, Stan Lee, Whoopi Gold­berg, the late Garry Mar­shall and oth­ers, ended his ac­cep­tance speech with a trib­ute to Princess Leia’s re­al­life coun­ter­part, who died in De­cem­ber.

“I would love to give my deep­est re­spects to the su­per- cool space sis I have in Car­rie Frances Fisher,” he said. “We were like sib­lings, the good and the bad. We’d have huge fights, ( say­ing) ‘ You’re such a phony,’ but we loved each other and what a great thrill it was to come back for The Force Awak­ens at that time in our lives. There’s a com­fort level with each other. We could rely on each other, and there’s a deep re­spect.”

Back­stage, he joked that Fisher’s “tim­ing was im­pec­ca­ble, ex­cept in this case, be­cause she de­serves to be around for her Emmy nom­i­na­tion ( for Ama­zon se­ries Catas­tro­phe) and for ( Star Wars) Episode VIII and IX.”

As for Fisher’s role in the up­com­ing Star Wars films, Hamill said he didn’t know much.

“I can’t cope without her, so God knows what ( Lucasfilm’s) go­ing to do, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to honor her legacy and make her pres­ence felt as strongly as they can in Episode IX.“

Fisher’s daugh­ter, Bil­lie Lourd, couldn’t at­tend to ac­cept her mother’s tro­phy ( she’s film­ing Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story), so Dis­ney CEO Bob Iger read a let­ter on her be­half.

“As far back as I can re­mem­ber, my mom and I have been Dis­ney fa­nat­ics,” Lourd wrote.

“I was so ob­sessed with Ariel that I wanted to change my name. We went to Dis­ney­land so much, I re­al­ize she may have loved it more than I did. So be­com­ing part of the Dis­ney fam­ily was a truly amaz­ing mo­ment for her. She se­cretly al­ways wanted to be a Dis­ney princess, so get­ting to be a Dis­ney princess and a Dis­ney leg­end would’ve been her ul­ti­mate dream. Thank you ( and) may the Force be with you al­ways.”

ARAYA DIAZ

Mark Hamill and Car­rie Fisher at­tend a ben­e­fit gala in Septem­ber 2014 in Bev­erly Hills.

DIS­NEY

Hamill says he and Fisher some­times fought like brother and sis­ter, “but we loved each other. ... We could rely on each other, and there’s a deep re­spect.” Fisher died in De­cem­ber.

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