It was a show, not a memorial.
That’s how Todd Fisher described the public service he organized for his sister Carrie Fisher and mom Debbie Reynolds in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Held at the Forest Lawn Cemetery, the event drew more than 1,200 friends and fans, or “extended family,” as Fisher put it. Those who couldn’t attend were able to watch online or follow along from a screen outside.
The event, held three months after Fisher and Reynolds’ deaths and two months after their actual burial, was designed as a celebration rather than a somber memorial.
It was as joyous and theatrical as you’d expect for two Hollywood icons, along with some personal moments of reflection.
There were hundreds and hundreds of fans
Some lined up as early as 2:30 a.m. to get seats inside the Hall of Liberty.
“Did we ever meet Carrie Fisher? We’ve seen her, but we didn’t know her. But from everything she gave fans her books, her roles we felt like we knew her. When I found out she passed, it was like we lost a family member,” said Liza Rios-Proprofsky, who was at the front of the line with her husband.
The two even had a Star Wars-themed wedding last year. “We want to be here to be amongst other people, and just to say goodbye to Carrie and Debbie in a more personal way,” she added.
Star Wars and Singin’ in the Rain memorabilia was on display (because duh)
Inside, there was an area set up featuring costumes from Fisher and Reynolds’ most iconic roles.
Princess Leia’s signature outfit and one of Kathy Selden (Singin’ in the Rain)‘s costumes were available for the public to look at, alongside a handful of the actresses’ accolades.
Yep, even an Oscar.
Speaking of Star Wars, R2-D2 got to say goodbye to his Princess
In a nod to one of Fisher’s most famous roles, a special guest star made an appearance.
R2-D2 rolled onto stage after Todd Fisher played a video of movie clips and images of the family.
The loveable droid beeped and moped while staring at a photo of Carrie Fisher.
And the droid wasn’t the only VIP
Actor Dan Aykroyd was one of the biggest celebrities to speak at the event.
“We shouldn’t be here so soon in our lives,” he told the crowd.
He also spoke about his friendship with Carrie Fisher, and joked about their brief engagement in the late 1970s.
James Blunt, who was not in attendance, wrote a special song dedicated to Carrie Fisher. The actress was godmother to Blunt’s son.
The tune debuted at the event, accompanied by a slideshow of photos. One lyric read, “You left without saying goodbye/ I’m here to let you know/ I’m here to let you go.”
Actress Ruta Lee sang “I’ll Be Seeing You” for Reynolds after speaking about their collective charitable efforts.
Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies spoke about Reynolds’ constant support.
“She understood the value of classic Hollywood,” he said. “That it was much more than nostalgia, that it’s a meaningful connection to our past.”
Notably absent: Carrie Fisher’s daughter and Reynolds’ granddaughter Billie Lourd, as well as Carrie’s beloved dog, Gary.
The event also featured a ton of dancing
A group from The Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio performed two tap dancing numbers.
Another dance group performed a tribute to “Singin’ in the Rain” (with a hip-hop twist).
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles also performed Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors.
In the end, it was a celebration that Todd Fisher said his mother and sister would have loved.
“This show was designed for you to be in our living room together … celebrating two amazing women,” he said. And it was.