Carrie Fisher was known to film fans far and wide as Star Wars‘ Princess Leia, the royal spitfire who stood as a beacon of hope as she battled the Galactic Empire. To Star Wars creator George Lucas, she was also a trusted collaborator, a close friend, and perhaps the sharpest skewer of his unique genius.
Fisher, who died Tuesday at age 60 after suffering a heart attack, memorably roasted Lucas in 2005, when he received AFI’s Life Achievement Award at a star-studded ceremony.
“George Lucas ruined my life,” Fisher deadpanned. “And I mean in the nicest possible way.”
Years after making Lucas’ little “cult film,” she said, “people are still asking me if I knew it was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, I knew. We all knew. The only one who didn’t know was George. We kept it from him because we wanted to see what his face looked like when it changed expression.”
She added, “Only a man like George could bring us whole new worlds populated by vivid, extraordinary characters, and provide Mark [Hamill] and Harrison [Ford] and myself with enough fan mail and even a small merry band of stalkers, keeping us entertained for the rest of our unnatural lives.”
Turning slightly serious, Fisher lauded her Star Wars director as “an extraordinary talent — and let’s face it, an artist — the likes of which is seen perhaps once in a generation, who helps define that generation.”
The admiration went both ways. In the wake of Fisher’s death, Lucas paid tribute to her in a statement. “Carrie and I have been friends most of our adult lives,” he said. “She was extremely smart; a talented actress, writer, and comedienne with a very colorful personality that everyone loved. In Star Wars she was our great and powerful princess — feisty, wise, and full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think. My heart and prayers are with Billie, Debbie, and all Carrie’s family, friends and fans. She will be missed by all.”
Watch Fisher’s remarks about Lucas in the video above.