Carrie Fisher: A Tribute to the Iconic Princess and Beyond

Carrie Fisher: A Tribute to the Iconic Princess and Beyond

A Farewell to Carrie Fisher: The Iconic Princess and Beyond

Carrie Fisher 2013 photo credit: riccardo_ghilardi_photographer

As 2016 drew to a close, the world was struck by the devastating news of Carrie Fisher‘s passing. At only 60 years old, her death came as a shock to many, especially since reports on Christmas day indicated she was in stable condition after suffering a heart attack. While she accomplished many things throughout her career, it was her first role as Princess Leia Organa in the 1977 blockbuster Star Wars that solidified her status as an icon. The character, created by George Lucas, redefined the damsel-in-distress trope and became an instant favorite for many.

In retrospect, Princess Leia’s fearlessness and wit seem to be infused with Fisher’s own feminist instincts. In a 2015 L.A. Times interview, Fisher expressed her appreciation for Leia’s nontraditional portrayal of a princess and the impact it had on the film.

…it made the female more active, it let her boss around men. She had contempt for and worked with men and I liked that. There was something human about her. It showed that she could do whatever she needed to do, and if she could do that, then everybody could do it.

Carrie Fisher: Life Beyond Star Wars

Despite her Hollywood upbringing as the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, Fisher never took her fame too seriously. In fact, she once mentioned on NBC’s Today show that she would have turned down the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars had she known it would make her as famous as her parents. However, once in the spotlight, Fisher embraced it with honesty, straightforwardness, and irreverent humor.

Fisher’s extensive Hollywood career went beyond acting. She was also a novelist, screenwriter, and script doctor. But perhaps her most significant legacy, aside from her role as Princess Leia, was her advocacy for mental health. Fisher openly discussed her struggles with bipolar disorder and became a role model for others dealing with mental illness.

Carrie Fisher, the Writer

Fisher’s writing career began with her semi-autobiographical bestseller novel, Postcards From the Edge, which set the tone for her future works: fictionalized versions of her life. Her books provided a platform for her to speak candidly about her struggles with bipolar disorder, drug addiction, relationships, and her famous family. Each book is filled with Fisher’s wisdom, both observational and hard-learned.

Her first screenplay was the adaptation of her book Postcards from the Edge into a film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid. The film earned Streep one of her nineteen (to date) Oscar nominations. Fisher then transitioned into a successful script doctor, working on films such as Lethal Weapon 3, Outbreak, and The Wedding Singer.

In 2007, Fisher removed the mask of fiction from her writing with Wishful Drinking, a one-woman show about her life. The success of the show led to a 2008 memoir of the same name, which became a best-seller and had a well-received limited run on Broadway. Fisher’s ability to find both the universal and the humor in her Hollywood life set her apart from many other stars attempting to write about their experiences.

In her final memoir, “The Princess Diarist,” Fisher revealed a secret: she and Harrison Ford had a three-month affair while filming the original Star Wars. With this revelation, Fisher seemed to let go of any potential scandals, leaving her life an open book.

Carrie Fisher: The Evolution of a Princess

When someone dies, there is a natural tendency to search for meaning in their life. In Fisher’s case, one could argue that her life had come full circle. The 2015 movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens reunited Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) 30 years after the events in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Now General Leia Organa and the head of the Resistance, the character reflects the ups and downs of love, life, and success that many women experience.

The Wrap Up

In the final year of her life, Fisher appeared in the standalone Star Wars film Rogue One and completed filming for Star Wars VIII. The evolution of Princess Leia into General Leia Organa serves as a perfect role model for the young girls of 1977 who have since grown up. It also offers a new kind of hope.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Fisher was immortalized in a metal bikini. Yet, 30 years later, her role in the franchise continued to be a strong, relevant character. Despite being told she had to lose 35 pounds to reprise her role, it is an amazing feat that she maintained such a prominent part of the story.

In short, at 60 years old, Carrie Fisher died in what could be considered the prime of her life. The Force was strong with her, and as a result, she will never be forgotten.

“We live in America,’ he said. ‘Everyone who speaks English understands you. How they interpret you is something else.”― Carrie Fisher, Postcards from the Edge

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