There has been a great disturbance in the Force today as millions of voices cry out news of Carrie Fisher’s untimely death.
After suffering a heart attack earlier this week on a flight to LAX, the star’s death was announced today. Though, if anyone is to ask, Fisher requested years ago that her obituary should read: “Drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.” It is quite the story, and she was quite the woman.
Carrie Fisher’s passing is a deep wound to Star Wars fans everywhere. She was brilliant for more than her role as Princess Leia. Despite redefining the traditional “princess” image with a mix of strength, intelligence, guts and compassion, Fisher was a talented woman in numerous ways. Though never graduating high school, Fisher was intelligent and active in the arts, eventually leading her to leave her place at Sarah Lawrence College to pursue her famous role in Star Wars.
As well as acting in movies such as The Blues Brothers, Shampoo and When Harry Met Sally, Fisher was a screenwriter and script doctor, doctoring dozens of well-known scripts from Hook to Lethal Weapon 3, comedies to sci-fi; even doctoring George Lucas’s scripts for the Star Wars prequels. Besides showing her talent in screenwriting, Fisher was also an author, writing novels such as Postcards from the Edge and autobiographies like Wishful Drinking and The Princess Diarist.
Above and beyond these accolades, Carrie Fisher was a personality that was adored by many. An open book about her bipolar disorder and addictions, Fisher embraced her “tell it as it is” manner, proving even off-screen that she was a woman not to be tamed. As willful and wily as Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher was not your average Hollywood sweetheart.
Yet, that was part of her charm. For every girl that had felt neglected by the Disney portraits of the perfect princess, the character of Princess Leia had been a dream come true. Despite becoming an instant sex symbol in the famous Return of the Jedi gold bikini, Fisher infused the character with her own fiery nature, refusing to be contained by the constraints of Hollywood womanhood. With a blend of hard, sarcastic wit and soft, intuitive compassion, Princess Leia opened the doors to a franchise-defining array of inspiring female leads (the echoes of which are still reverberating strongly today). It may not have been her only role, but it was a role that defined her career and, more importantly, changed the course of sci-fi history forever.
The loss of Carrie Fisher will be felt deeply by many this day. To lose someone that had a role in many childhoods, in the imaginations of many people across the globe, is always painful, yet Carrie’s death feels particularly deep. But even in this time of great darkness, the world is thankful to have had such a light shine and to live still in our memories. If anything, Carrie Fisher was a talented woman that told us through her art to believe in the triumph of good over evil. In sad times such as these, it is important to believe in the light of good people; ordinary folk who become extraordinary through their art, their smiles, their compassion and their honesty.
In Yoda’s wise words: “Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not.” We may not live in the world of the Force, but Carrie Fisher’s image and memory still lives on in the Star Wars universe, allowing us to be with her, even in the darkest of times.