Mark Hamill compares the death of Carrie Fisher to losing John Lennon

The late actor will appear as Leia Organa for a final time in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Mark Hamill has compared the death of his Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher to losing John Lennon.

The late actor passed away on December 27, 2016 after suffering a severe cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles. She was 60 years old.

Fisher filmed her last appearance as Leia Organa for The Last Jedi before her death and, as the film’s release date approaches, her fellow cast members have reflected on losing her. Speaking to Reuters, Hamill said: “She’s irreplaceable. It’s like every fan was dreaming of the day The Beatles would reunite, and then we lost John [Lennon]. It’s just unbearably sad.”

He added: “Star Wars is about great triumph and great tragedy, and I can’t think of a greater tragedy than missing our Leia.”

Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, said the upcoming new edition to the franchise has a new pathos since Fisher’s passing. “I think there is a sense that she understands – and I think the mirroring to life is uncanny – that she’s not going to be around forever,” he said of Leia in The Last Jedi. “There’s a passing of the torch that’s going to happen.”

Director Rian Johnson added that however Leia’s presence gets handled in future films – e.g. with digital recreation – he is “very thankful that we have this film” and that it will “mean a lot to fans”. He also teased: “You are going to see some stuff with Leia that you haven’t seen before.”

The Last Jedi is released on December 14 and stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, and more.