HUFFINGTON POST – There’s a brief, but powerful moment in The Last Jedi where Leia, the storied Princess turned General, stands alone in a cold expanse. Behind her, in the dark, her defenses are at their weakest. Ahead, trouble quickly approaches. Despite these dire straits, Leia keeps her eyes fixed on the horizon, ready to meet what comes. Though this sequence only lasts mere seconds, the quiet intensity of the scene serving as a perfect cinematic portrait not only of the iconic character, but also of the incomparable woman who portrayed her.
I’ve been thinking about Carrie Fisher a lot lately. Naturally, the release of the new Star Wars film has contributed to this fact, but also the knowledge that this December 27th marks a full year since her passing.
Like many kids of my generation, Star Wars was always sort of pop culturally omnipresent in my life. As is the nature of such zeitgeist behemoths, it was almost impossible to not be held in its thrall: I remember clutching my Ewok stuffed animal tight while watch the original movies on VHS and recall getting swept up in the fever pitch leading up to the release of the prequels. Even if tangentially, there’s something magical about bearing witness to a piece of storytelling that has touched so many lives. And, as someone who has since devoted his own life to storytelling, it’s a phenomenon I cannot help but admire.
That being said, in comparison to the far more dedicated members of the fandom, I would definitely consider myself a casual participant in the world of Star Wars. For no better reason than often the interference of life, my attention to the franchise has occasionally waned here and there over the years, though I have never forgotten my appreciation for its innate magic. However, the one thing that has never waned is my appreciation for the galaxy’s grand dame: Carrie Fisher.
Like many, my first introduction to Carrie Fisher was as Princess Leia. I always liked this rebel rouser who, even while the men were attempting to mount a rescue mission, would invariably rescue herself. As a little boy who grew up with the male-driven media of my generation, Leia broke the mold of merely being a damsel in distress. She took charge, she fought back, she stood defiant. In a galaxy that didn’t necessarily believe in her or her form of rebellion, she believed in herself.
…and though I didn’t realize it at the time, as a little queer kid growing up in small town America, she was exactly what I, and so many others, needed to see.
Granted, Leia’s agency notwithstanding, it was actually Fisher’s life beyond the galaxy far, far away that left the most profound impact on me. I’ve been an avid reader most of my life, and when I was in high school, I picked up a copy of Fisher’s Postcards from the Edge at a bookstore by happenstance. I had heard of the movie, but honestly may not have even thought to get the book had it not been on sale. Luckily, being a broke student led to me discovering something that, in a way, changed my life.
Within the pages of Postcards was a tale, not of space, but of the intricacies of humanity. Of the tragic flaws that exist within all of us, the cracks in our relationships, and the struggles to overcome the darkness we create for ourselves. It was a raw, honest work.
…and it was also funny as hell.
ET ONLINE – Carrie Fisher continues to be remembered by fans, friends, and family.
The late actress’ brother, Todd Fisher, helped honor her memory at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday, just hours before Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released in theaters.
Fisher received a plaque at the historic Hollywood institution that read “Dedicated to Carrie by the TCL Chinese Theatre, her Star Wars home since 1977. ‘We love you Carrie.'”
‘Dedicated to Carrie by the TCL Chinese Theatre, her Star Wars home since 1977 “We love you Carrie.”’#CarrieFisher #PrincessLeila #TCLChineseTheatres #ToddFisher #StarWars #TheLastJedi pic.twitter.com/xTQy9GwgLf
— TCL Chinese Theatres (@ChineseTheatres) December 14, 2017
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.