The nearly year-old campaign to replace Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with one honoring the late Carrie Fisher was suddenly resuscitated Wednesday when Mark Hamill retweeted an article about an August 2018 vote by West Hollywood's city council calling for the removal of the frequently vandalized monument to the president. It's unclear whether Star Wars icon believed that was a new development, but by adding the hashtag #AStarForCarrie, he gave another boost to an effort embraced by Fisher's fans.
However, while the sentiment may be understandable, the stated goal of removing Trump's star, and replacing it with Fisher's, is highly unlikely to happen, for a couple of reasons.
The 'Historic Fabric' of the Walk
First, the West Hollywood city council has no jurisdiction over the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is actually located in Los Angeles (a separate city), and administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The organization said last year it has no intention of removing Trump's star, or anyone's for that matter. "The stars once installed, are considered part of the historic fabric of the Walk,” President and CEO Leron Gubler said in a statement.
According to the Chamber's website, the City of Los Angeles is ultimately responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the Walk of Fame, although the Chamber’s Friends of the Walk program might pitch in. That means every time Trump’s star is defaced, its repair is paid for by the city, unless there’s leftover money in the Friends of the Walk fund.
Since the creation of the Walk of Fame in 1953, the only time a star has been removed was to correct a spelling a mistake (Grizzly Adams star Dan Haggerty was erroneously referred to as "Don Haggerty").
The Mourning Period
There's a little-known Hollywood Walk of Fame tradition that requires a five-year mourning period for celebrities who die without a star.
“There is a five-year waiting period before anyone can nominate her,” Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez told the Los Angeles Daily News in 2017, referring to Fisher. “As much as we’d like to do it, there’s a policy. Many people want us to waive it, but we can’t.”
That means Fisher, who passed away on Dec. 27, 2016, won't be eligible for a star until at least 2021. The application could then be submitted -- likely her brother Todd Fisher or her daughter Billie Lourde -- on the five-year anniversary of her death. One posthumous star is bestowed each year.
Of course, as Martinez noted, Fisher never publicly expressed a desire for a star, which runs contrary to the Chamber's requirement that the honoree approve of the honor. Prince was never interested in receiving a star, and living celebrities like Clint Eastwood and Julia Roberts have refused the honor.
“We don’t know if she ever was interested," Martinez told the Los Angeles Times. "She was never submitted for a star. We have to have something in writing from the person — they have to sign off. [In this case,] Her family would have to do that. We’ll gladly take the application on the fifth anniversary.”
A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame isn't free. Once an application is submitted, and a selection made, there is a fee for the creation and installation of the star, and for maintenance of the Walk of Fame. Although the "price is subject to change," the 2020 application lists it as $50,000.
Traditionally, that fee is paid either by the stars themselves or the studio. In Fisher’s case, it would likely fall to Disney, her family or her fans to come up with the money, which certainly wouldn't be a problem.