Oh, moms: You mean well, but can’t you tell that you’re embarrassing us? And yes, that even goes for when your mom is Princess Leia, as Billie Lourd writes of her late mother, Carrie Fisher, in a new essay for Time. After Lourd got a part in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which Fisher pushed her to audition for in the first place, she “was like a doe-eyed child” heading to the set for the first time. (Fisher and Lourd’s talent-agent father kept her away from movie sets as a child.) In the trailer, Lourd’s mom pushed the film’s hairstylist to give her daughter the same side-buns she wore as Princess Leia — and that was the birth of Carrie Fisher, stage mom.
When they shot the day’s scene, Lourd writes:
I had no lines in the scene, but my mom kept checking on me like I was delivering a Shakespearean monologue. “Are you okay?,” she asked. “Do you need anything?” I scoffed at her maternal questions like a child embarrassed by her mother yelling good-bye too loud in a carpool line: “Mommy, go away! I’m fine. Focus on you, not me!” In the moment, I was humiliated that my mom was moming me on my first day of work, on the Star Wars set, of all places.
Well, moms gonna mom. But this story has a happy ending, as Lourd realized Fisher was just doing what moms do best: looking out for their children. “Now I realize she was just being protective,” she writes. “Sets are extremely intimidating — I was too green at the time to know that — and she assumed I would be scared as hell. But weirdly, I wasn’t.” So much, in fact, that she came back to star as her character, Lieutenant Connix, in The Last Jedi and again in The Rise of Skywalker, out December 20, her first Star Wars production since Fisher’s death. (The film will feature footage of Fisher as Leia from past shoots.) “Initially, Princess Leia was kind of like my stepmom,” Lourd writes. “Now she’s my guardian angel. And I’m her keeper.”