Filmmaker JJ Abrams has said he feels lucky to have known Carrie Fisher following the actress’s death.
JJ, who directed Carrie when she reprised the role of Leia in 2015’s The Force Awakens, said the actress was “brilliant and beautiful”.
In a handwritten note that he photographed and posted on Twitter, he said it was unfair to have lost Carrie but that the world was blessed to have had her in the first place.
Carrie passed away on Tuesday, days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
Tributes have been pouring in, with Carrie’s Star Wars co-stars and celebrities including William Shatner, Mia Farrow and Whoopi Goldberg among those expressing their condolences.
Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo in the films, said the actress was “one of a kind”, while Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, tweeted: “No words #Devastated.”
Star Wars newcomer Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in The Force Awakens, said she was “devastated at this monumental loss”.
She added: “How lucky we all are to have known her, and how awful that we have to say goodbye.”
George Lucas also paid tribute in a statement.
He said: “Carrie and I have been friends most of our adult lives. She was extremely smart; a talented actress, writer and comedienne with a very colourful personality that everyone loved.
“In Star Wars she was our great and powerful princess — feisty, wise and full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think.”
Singer Bette Midler tweeted: “Carrie Fisher didn’t make it. I am so terribly sorry, and send my sincere condolences to her family, friends and fans all around the world.”
Stephen Fry said: “She was the brightest, funniest, bravest, kindest, cleverest and sweetest person I ever knew. A crushing blow to lose @carrieffisher.”
Walt Disney Company chairman and chief executive Bob Iger said in a statement: “Carrie Fisher was one-of-a-kind, a true character who shared her talent and her truth with us all with her trademark wit and irreverence.
“Millions fell in love with her as the indomitable Princess Leia; she will always have a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans as well as all of us who were lucky enough to know her personally.
“She will be sorely missed, and we join millions of fans and friends around the world who mourn her loss today.”
Ellen DeGeneres described Carrie as “so much fun”.
Kathleen Kennedy, president of film company Lucasfilm, added: “Carrie holds such a special place in the hearts of everyone at Lucasfilm it is difficult to think of a world without her. She was Princess Leia to the world but a very special friend to all of us.
“She had an indomitable spirit, incredible wit, and a loving heart. Carrie also defined the female hero of our age over a generation ago. Her groundbreaking role as Princess Leia served as an inspiration of power and confidence for young girls everywhere. We will miss her dearly.”
Actor Richard Dreyfuss, who starred in Postcards From The Edge, which was written by Carrie, said on Twitter that he was “heatbroken”.
I'm heartbroken. Carrie and I were friends for almost 40 years. The world just lost one of its best.— Richard Dreyfuss (@RichardDreyfuss) December 27, 2016
In The Force Awakens, Carrie’s character had matured into a seasoned and respected resistance general who shared a son with Han Solo.
She had been due to appear in Star Wars VIII, which is scheduled for release in December 2017.