The sudden passing of Carrie Fisher on December 27, at age 60, followed closely by the passing of her mother, Debbie Reynolds, captured the hearts and imaginations of movie fans everywhere. But Star Wars devotees especially felt compelled to gather as a community. Like the intergalactic Cantina hangout, pizza places and other restaurants proved the perfect purview for Princess Leia mourners to commiserate over a slice of the Universe’s most popular food.
1. Hakki Akdeniz, the owner of Champion Pizza in New York’s Soho neighborhood, learned English in his native Turkey by watching Star Wars before moving to New York and living his dream of running a pizzeria. Akdeniz paid it forward in tribute to his beloved Princess Leia on December 28 by treating customers dressed as Star Wars characters to a free slice of pizza. Patrons donning one of Fisher’s iconic Leia looks (Like Jabba the Hutt’s fave below) got a whole pie.
2. In Tucson, Arizona, Casa Video’s Film Bar is known as a great place to have a cocktail, order a delicious slice of pizza and screen a favorite flick. On January 7, the movie/mozzarella mashup includes $4 mimosas and nine hours of Carrie Fisher’s and Debbie Reynolds’ best movies.
3. Many pizzerias around the country paid their final respects to Fisher in a heartfelt gesture befitting family-owned eateries where popular culture and convenient, timeless food connect. Down-to-earth joints like Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn, known for clever specialty menu boards highlighting pop culture figures, offered pizza and Fisher fans a specialty pie or dish. The “Seven Leia Dip” and “Curry Fisher” honor the fallen actress “in the only way we know how,” Vinnie’s owner said on Facebook.
4. An Italian restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi, boasts a tangible link to the Fisher family. It’s the sturdy hard-wood bar, owned in the mid-‘50s by Carrie’s father and Debbie’s ex-husband, singer Eddie Fisher. John Currence, who owns Fat Eddie’s Lamar Lounge among other Oxford restaurants, set up a shot of Limoncello and a candle at the bar for Carrie on the night after her death. “It happens that a close friend of mine’s wife and Carrie were best friends,” he explained. The relationship led to Currence’s purchase of the bar, which is now the centerpiece of this popular Italian eatery.
5. Even tributes born of the best of intentions—in an empire ruled by politically correct storm troopers—can flame out. Poor Steve Martin’s sweet tweet on “beautiful creatures,” as well as the pastry company Cinnabon’s sticky use of a delicious bun to complete Princess Leia’s iconic swirl-do (below), exploded faster than the Death Star.