RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens of fans gathered Thursday at the bell tower at NC State for a vigil to remember Carrie Fisher.
Fisher, who was best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, died on Tuesday.
Fans gathered around the bell tower, and instead of candles lit toy lightsabers to honor Fisher.
“She was my first child hood hero,” said one of the organizers.
People in attendance said when they first saw Fisher as Princess Leia decades ago, she was a strong female character in a time when that was rare.
Now, decades later, that sentiment is still true for a new generation.
“She drove a speeder at Endor and shot down enemy Stormtroopers,” said 11-year-old fan Fritz Enders.
“I like how she’s a bit daring and just cool,” said 9-year-old fan Raley Becker.
But more than just the character Princess Leia, people at the vigil say Carrie Fisher was a strong advocate for mental health awareness.
People say her strength helped them through hard times, and some, including Clint Lienao, said it was worth driving two hours from Greenville to remember her.
“She was such an idol for so many people, and an advocate for mental health, and being strong and not needing to be saved by the prince,” said Lienao. “She was the princess we need, she was everyone’s princess growing up,” he added.