This weekend, more than 5,000 people will gather in Dallas for the Marvelous Nerd New Year’s Eve Expo to celebrate science fiction, fantasy and pop culture.
A major part of the celebration will be a tribute to deceased actress Carrie Fisher who is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" franchise.
“When Carrie passed away, we were asked by so many of our attendees how we were going to honor her memory and her legacy,” organizer Devin Pike said. “We are actually holding a memorial for Carrie on Saturday morning.”
Some of Fisher’s friends and former co-stars will take the stage and remember her galaxy-sized legacy.
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“At the time, science fiction heroines screamed a lot and ran around behind rocks and hid behind the captain,” Pike said. “Carrie Fisher was the one who grabbed the gun, got the heroes out of a jam and was a positive role model in science fiction for women and for everybody.”
Pike said Hollywood has spent decades trying to duplicate that strength because there was only one Carrie Fisher.
“[She] actually finished the footage for Episode 8 which will be released next Christmas,” Pike said. “It will be bittersweet seeing her on screen knowing that was her last role in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe. It’s really hard for a lot of fans to wrap their heads around it."
Pike said Fisher did more for movies than just Star Wars.
“When we were putting the tribute reel together, five people actually messaged me and said if I didn’t include her work in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ then it would not be complete,” he said.
Fans said she meant more to the world than just her movie roles.
“She was also an amazingly funny author and actress who spoke out against mental illness and addiction,” Pike added. “Her strength as a character is what really drew people to her.”
The four-day conference is at the Downtown Dallas Sheraton and runs through Jan.1.