Rev Simon Carver, who reviews films every month for Inspirational Breakfast, said Carrie Fisher "laid the ground" for other strong leading female characters in films.
Carrie Fisher died on Tuesday at the age of 60, four days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
The actress was candid about her struggles with drugs and alcohol, publishing a semi-autobiographical novel called Postcards From The Edge in 1987 about a recovering drug addict film star.
It became a bestseller and was turned into a 1990 film starring an Oscar-nominated Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine and Dennis Quaid.
Rev Simon Carver told Premier: "The word 'iconic' is used probably too often but I guess that she is an iconic figure. She was blessed by that but also maybe she was also hindered by that. Clearly she had difficulties and she spoke very openly about them, substance abuse and unhappy relationships etcetera, so I think she was somebody that people identified with.
"She's laid the ground for the very strong female characters we've had in the two recent Star Wars reboot films, so Star Wars certainly has given women the opportunity to have strong starring roles.
"We've lost something of ourselves, we've lost something from our childhood, our formative years."
Listen to Premier's Dan Golding speaking to Rev Simon Carver: