Carrie Fisher is given an “amazing” send-off in her final Star Wars film, according to co-star John Boyega.
The London-born actor said he shares “many scenes” with the late actress in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and that the sci-fi franchise “keeps her alive”.
Fisher, who played the part of Princess – later General – Leia, died last December aged 60.
Her final film performance will be seen when the latest Star Wars blockbuster is released at the end of the year.
Boyega, who played stormtrooper Finn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, told US broadcaster ABC: “It sends her off in a very amazing way.
“She is still kept alive in this franchise and that’s the beauty of it – she lives forever in a sense.”
Boyega was with family in Nigeria when he found out about Fisher’s death, which came four days after she was taken ill on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
“It was a strange, strange feeling,” said the 25-year-old, currently promoting his role in race drama Detroit.
“I felt like everybody in the cast and obviously around the world [and] went silent for a bit.”
His comments came as Fisher’s actress daughter, Billie Lourd, spoke about the last time she saw her mother.
“The last time I saw her in person, this episode of Scream Queens was on, and it was a big episode for me,” she told fellow actress Sarah Paulson in Town & Country magazine.
“I had tons of scenes, and I was so hard on myself about it – I hated how I looked, hated my performance. I was really frustrated.
“She told me, ‘Come over right now. I want to watch this with you.’ And she made me sit down and watch it, and she forced me to see the good parts.
“She was incredible like that. But she was really hard on me, saying, ‘Shut up, you’re great in this. Have faith in yourself. Be more confident.”‘
Lourd lost her grandmother Debbie Reynolds the day after her mother’s death and admitted she had always “lived in their shadows”.
“I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie,” she added.
Elsewhere in the Star Wars universe, it has been revealed that the next film in the series – Star Wars: Episode IX – is to be rewritten by British writer Jack Thorne.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is working on the ninth instalment, to be directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow.
Meanwhile, director Ron Howard has told the same publication the Han Solo stand-alone film is “coming along great”.
“It’s a fantastic script, a great cast and I am having a fantastic creative experience with it,” he is quoted as saying.
Howard took over the film from Christopher Miller and Phil Lord after they left the project, citing “creative differences” with producers.