PEOPLE – Princess Leia’s legacy lives on — in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and in the happy memories Carrie Fisher left with her intergalactic family.
Carrie Fisher had completed filming her role as Leia for the new Star Wars movie, out Dec. 15, months before her sudden death last December at age 60.
In PEOPLE’s new special issue Star Wars: The Ultimate Guide to The Last Jedi (on newsstands today) and an exclusive PeopleTV special, the film’s cast and crew open up about Fisher’s final performance and the warmth and wit she brought to set.
“I’m selfishly mad that she’s not here to make me laugh. But I’m also grateful for all that she was able to give us while she was here. It has not been easy,” says Mark Hamill, her onscreen brother and offscreen friend since the original 1977 Star Wars.
While on set, Fisher acted as a mentor for the younger members of the Star Wars cast, forming close bonds with John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.
Boyega says he would go to Fisher whenever he wanted a secret cheat day from the strict diet and workout regime he had to stick to while filming.
SYFY WIRE – Actress Carrie Fisher, aka Princess-turned-General Leia Organa, might be gone, but she’s far from forgotten. She’s remembered by her fans … and now the Grammy Awards. Fisher has been nominated posthumously for a spoken-word Grammy for the spoken-word version of her autobiographical book The Princess Diarist.
The Princess Diarist tells Fisher’s tale of her time on the set of Star Wars. During the week, she played Princess Leia opposite a cast that included Harrison Ford. On the weekends, they were lovers. She thought she was in love with him at the time, but her older, wiser, and filter-free self knows better.
You can hear Fisher’s wry, dry humor in an audio sample here.
MOVIEWEB – Master of social media, Mark Hamill took a break from trolling Star Wars fans over the Thanksgiving holiday and instead shared some humorous messages along with a heartfelt tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, his on-screen sister. The Luke Skywalker actor shared some Star Wars Thanksgiving-themed memes featuring Porgs taking over the holiday as well as Darth Vader cutting a turkey with his Lightsaber and a cornucopia featuring BB-8, among others. Those tweets were all well and good and gave fans some laughs while celebrating, but it was his tribute to Carrie Fisher that really got everybody’s attention.
It’s hard to believe that The Last Jedi is less than a month away, but it’s even harder to fathom that it’s been nearly a year since we lost Carrie Fisher. It’s tough for fans, but immensely harder on those who knew and loved her, like Mark Hamill. Hamill took to Twitter to post a picture of himself and Fisher, in character as Luke and Leia, on the set of The Last Jedi with a simple caption that reads, “thankful 4 the memories,” in hashtag. The picture is a reminder that Carrie Fisher’s memory will live on in the hearts of her friends and family as well as all of the Star Wars fans all over the world.
In a recent interview promoting Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Mark Hamill addressed how he copes with the loss of Carrie Fisher and mentioned that she is still very much on his mind these days. Hamill had this to say.
“The only way I’ve been able to cope is to think of her in the present tense. She’s so vital in my mind even today.”
Hamill also went on to talk about how their relationship wasn’t always perfect. The actor even revealed that he thought that Fisher would completely bounce back after suffering cardia arrest last December. He explains.
THE MARY SUE – The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson recently gave a fairly wide-ranging interview to Yahoo! News, covering everything from how Disney selects its spoilers to potential backlash against the Porgs, but it was his quote about Carrie Fisher that really tugged at my heartstrings. Johnson discussed how Fisher was deeply conscious of Leia’s importance to women in the Star Wars fandom, and how she tried to serve the character’s legacy through both her performance and the script.
“She was so conscious of the place that Leia had,” Johnson said, “not just broadly in the culture, but very specifically in terms of girls who grew up watching Star Wars, when Leia was the only female hero on the screen. She really wanted to do right by that, drawing the character forward. That was something that she would always be pulling us back to.”
Fisher’s dedication to doing right by the character and her fans also extended to the script, which she worked with Johnson on. Johnson has previously praised Fisher’s contributions to the story, calling her “a brilliant writer, with an incredible mind,” but here he specifically spoke to her work on Leia.
“For me it was fantastic, because besides all the other benefits of having a fantastic writer like Carrie there by my side while we’re making this movie, just having a voice that was like a compass needle that would always pull it back in the right direction of This is what this character means, and this is what we always have to make sure that she’s serving, with her strength and also with her weaknesses — showing a fully realized character who is going to be inspiring to the folks who grew up with Leia.”
Knowing that this will be Fisher’s last performance as Leia, it was heartening to hear that she had so much involvement in shaping the character’s arc and attitude – and that she did so with a mind to what she meant to Star Wars fangirls everywhere. When there are still fanboys out there who insist that Star Wars is a “guy thing,” it’s important that the people who are actually, you know, making Star Wars films recognize the female fans – both those who’ve been there since the beginning, and those who are only just discovering Star Wars.
As ever with this movie, I am not ready for my emotions.
EW – It was a chance to remember 40 years of Star Wars, but it turned into a time to mourn a future without Carrie Fisher.
Thursday’s 40th anniversary celebration of the beloved film franchise at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida, closed with a video tribute to Fisher, who died last year. The package, which can be seen above, included a look at Fisher’s life as Leia Organa and featured a brief glimpse of the actress on the set of this year’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi with director Rian Johnson (see it below).
Before the video montage screened, Fisher’s life was remembered by original Star Wars director George Lucas, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd.
VANITY FAIR – Her father, Eddie Fisher, left her mother, Debbie Reynolds, for Elizabeth Taylor—and that was only the beginning.
Carrie Fisher, who died Tuesday, had a complex relationship with Hollywood, which she hilariously described in her autographical books, one-woman show, and interviews over her four-decade career. While it can be grotesque to watch celebrities publicly lamenting their life’s hand, Fisher used her wit, talent, and experiences to entertain audiences everywhere from movie screens to Twitter streams. And in a 2009 interview, Fisher told Vanity Fair how sharing her stories—which had an atypical, wry perspective on Hollywood’s usual trappings: stars, addictions, and broken marriages—played a large role in her mental health.
“The fact that I can make somebody laugh at this stuff—it can be very cathartic,” Fisher said of opening her life up for public consumption. “If you claim something, you can own it. But if you have it as a shameful secret, you’re fucked; you’re sitting in a room populated by elephants. I have a lot of elephants to kill. But I also have a lot to be grateful for. Most of my problems are high-class. As Mike Nichols used to say, ‘The champagne is flat and the caviar has run out—will it never end?’”
Fisher’s life began with the same flash-bulb crack that would accompany her to her untimely end. The first child of pop singer Eddie Fisher and Singin’ in the Rain star Debbie Reynolds (who died one day after Fisher did), Fisher later joked that she—a cynical Hollywood misfit plagued by addiction and bipolar disorder—was “truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.” In her autobiography, Fisher described what it was like entering the world as the offspring of two of the world’s biggest stars:
When I was born, my mother was given an anesthetic because they didn’t have epidurals in those days. Consequently, she was unconscious.
Now, my mother is a beautiful woman—she’s beautiful today in her 70s, so at 24 she looked like a Christmas morning. All the doctors [in the delivery room] were buzzing round her pretty head, saying: ‘Oh, look at Debbie Reynolds asleep—how pretty.’
And my father, upon seeing me start to arrive, fainted. So all the nurses ran over saying: ‘Oh look, there’s Eddie Fisher, the crooner, on the ground. Let’s go look at him.’
So when I arrived I was virtually unattended. And I have been trying to make up for that fact ever since.