Mark Hamill told a Shanghai press conference that "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is a tribute to Carrie Fisher's entire career.
Speaking Wednesday (local time) the day the latest "Star Wars" adventure had its premiere in China, Hamill praised his late co-star's performance.
"She is wonderful in this film. It's a tribute to her entire career that it could culminate in this movie. So, of course, we will never stop missing her and it's sad that she's not here to witness how loved she is and how people will react to her in this film."
The star talked about his "Last Jedi" screen time with the actress, with whom he launched the original franchise back in 1977.
"When I see that scene, I still, it takes me completely out of the movie but that's just personal. I know I'm going to have to get over that. But, again, instead of being upset that I don't have any more time with her, it also makes me grateful for the time I did have with her. And I've known her since she was 19-years-old, so I'm grateful for that."
Fisher reprises her role of Princess Leia, while Hamill plays Luke Skywalker once again, now a reclusive Jedi master.
Daisy Ridley returns as Rey, who approaches Skywalker to train her in the ways of the Force.
She told the press conference it was only when the film came out that she realised how carefully the strong characters were split between men and women.
"To me, it wasn't about the gender. I was just like it's an awesome role. And when we were doing press for it, and then, actually really it was after the film came out, the reaction was so strong, that is sort of made me see it in a different way and I sort of went from myself selfish thing of, 'Oh I get to play good role,' to a more universal thing of representation," she admitted, paying tribute to others on the cast.
"We have Laura (Dern) and Kelly (Marie Tran) among others who are adding to this wonderful cast and it's great. I think it's the most evenly spread cast."
"It's also with the background characters," added director Rian Johnson, "it's the first time that we did 50 -50 percent with male and female, both in the Resistance and in the First Order, all the background actors are half and half male and female, yeah."
"I think in term of diversity too," continued Ridley, "it's a wonderful - it's just a more clear, you know, showing of what society is now. So I'm very happy."
Johnson insists the heart of the story is something most young adults can relate to.
"This story is about, it's about, you know, these young people Rey and Finn who are trying to find their place in the world. And so everything about it being science fiction or the spaceships and everything, that's all fun but at its heart it's a very human story about young adults trying to grow up and it's a very emotional story I think."
The movie is set for release in theatres in China from January 5, 2018.