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‘His ears perked up’: Carrie Fisher’s dog recognizes her at ‘The Last Jedi’ screening

FILE -- Carrie Fisher and dog Gary attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London, UK, Wednesday December 16, 2015.
FILE -- Carrie Fisher and dog Gary attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere held in Leicester Square, London, UK, Wednesday December 16, 2015. PA Wire/Abaca Press/TNS

Almost a year after her death, Carrie Fisher’s likeness returned to the screen in the latest “Star Wars” installation, which had its wide release Friday.

It was fitting that one of the fans present at a Thursday screening for the blockbuster film was perhaps Fisher’s closest companion: Gary, her French bulldog. The release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – the last project Carrie filmed before her December 2016 death – brought her portrayal of Princess Leia to the big screen one last time.

As reported by ABC reporter Veronica Miracle, Gary watched the movie premiere from the lap of Fisher’s former assistant, Corby McCoin. The beloved dog recognized Fisher whenever she appeared, and reportedly perked up. The reporter tweeted a short video clip showing a jovial Gary wearing a sweater designed to look like an X-Wing pilot jumpsuit.

The Frenchie has his own Instagram page, run by McCoin, with more than 160,000 followers.

Gary wasn’t just excited by the film – he’s in it. Kind of. An alien specimen bearing a strong resemblance to the dog appears in a brief background cameo. Director Rian Johnson confirmed this was intentional.

Gary served as Fisher’s therapy dog. Fisher suffered from bipolar disorder.

While Entertainment Weekly reported that Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd cares for Gary, TMZ and Vanity Fair contend that McCoin has control of the dog.

TMZ also reported earlier this week that Gary has provided emotional support to fans who miss the iconic actress. Lourd and ex-husband Bryan Lourd have reportedly tried to keep Gary out of the spotlight, and asked McCoin to remove the dog’s Instagram page, according to another TMZ story.

“The Last Jedi” opened to a $45 million opening night and holds a 93 percent “Fresh” rating by critics on review site Rotten Tomatoes as of Friday night, though the site says only 56 percent of moviegoers liked it.

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