Billie Lourd Opened Up About Her “Third Parent,” Princess Leia

On Dec. 27, 2016, the world lost a beloved princess when Carrie Fisher died, but Billie Lourd lost a mother and dear friend. Now in Time, Lourd opened up in a personal essay about carrying on her mother’s legacy, in regards to Star Wars and beyond.

Billie Lourd at Vanity Fair and FX’s Annual Primetime Emmy Nominations Party | Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Billie Lourd wasn’t a big fan of Princess Leia growing up

Coming up on the third anniversary of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’ deaths, Lourd penned this lengthy account of her connection to Princess Leia and the Star Wars franchise as a whole. “I grew up with three parents: a mom, a dad and Princess Leia. I guess Princess Leia was kind of like my stepmom–technically family, but deep down I didn’t really like her.”

She said that she didn’t really get the admiration everyone had for the Alderaan royal. “As a child, I couldn’t understand why people loved Leia as much as they did. I didn’t want to watch her movie, I didn’t want to dress up like her, I didn’t even want to talk about her. I just wanted my mom–the one who lived on Earth, not Tatooine.” 

Lourd took on the title of “Keeper of Princess Leia”

She wrote that as she grew up, and was cast in a small part in Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, she was finally excited about the franchise. She details her first day on set, how she tried to play it cool but also was very happy to finally take on acting alongside her mother, Fisher. She was even able to “carry on the face-widening family tradition” of the two hair buns.

Billie Lourd and her family — grandmother Debbie Reynolds, mother Carrie Fisher, and uncle Todd Fisher — in 2015.
Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, and Billie Lourd at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2015 | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

This essay also comes less than a month away from the final installment of the trilogy, with The Rise of Skywalker, which will be Lourd’s third Star Wars film. She originally thought it would just be one, but her role as Lieutenant Connix lives on.

She then states that after her mother’s death, she took on the role of guarding and protecting Fisher’s memory, including Leia. “I lost my best friend. My little lady in the TV. My Momby,” she wrote. “And I inherited this weird, intimidating thing called her legacy. Suddenly I was in charge of what would come of her books, her movies and a bunch of other overwhelming things. I was now the keeper of Leia.”

Fisher was very excited for “Leia’s movie”

Lourd described how they finished filming The Last Jedi six months before Fisher’s death, and one of her last conversations with Fisher was about Leia’s final movie. “[Carrie Fisher] talked about how excited she was that the next movie in the trilogy was going to be Leia’s movie. Her movie,” Lourd wrote.

As Todd Fisher, Carrie Fisher’s brother, just told Yahoo, director J.J. Abrams had written the final movie with Leia as “the last Jedi,” finally wielding a lightsaber. Lourd wrote that Fisher was excited about how the galaxy far, far away was getting a little more equal.

“She was no longer a part of a fantasy, but the fantasy herself,” Lourd wrote. “Leia was not just a sidekick one of the male leads had on his arm, or a damsel in distress. She was the hero herself. The princess became the general.”