NY TIMES – “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
Even as a jittery, tiny projection, Princess Leia is a commanding presence. She’s one of the most powerful figures in her galaxy — and one of the most iconic characters in our galaxy. This is how she went from secret baby to General Organa. (Many Bothans died to bring us this information.)
- Padmé Amidala, the former queen and senator and the wife of Anakin Skywalker, dies in childbirth, but not before naming her twins Luke and Leia. (How could she die during childbirth in a galaxy that has mastered hyperspace travel? Who knows.) Padmé and Anakin’s daughter is adopted by Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan and his wife, Queen Breha. Luke is sent to the desert planet Tatooine.
- Sixteen years later, like many teenagers, Leia becomes curious about her parents. As detailed in the novel “Leia: Princess of Alderaan,” she inadvertently discovers that her father, her mother and their friend Mon Mothma are deeply involved in the budding rebellion against the Galactic Empire.
- Leia joins the group that will become the Rebel Alliance.
POST GAZETTE — Carrie Fisher may have been the “madcap Auntie Mame” to Mark Hamill’s “square” homebody, but despite their differences, the Star Wars siblings got along famously right until the end.
While both skyrocketed to celebrity with their Star Wars roles in 1977 and remained inextricably linked through their on-screen family, Mr. Hamill says he missed a lot of Fisher’s life — during “the Bryan Lourd years” and when her daughter Billie Lourd was an infant. That’s why, even before her untimely death last year, he felt especially grateful to just get to spend time with his friend during the filming of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
“I’d see her periodically during charity events or when there were Star Wars celebrations and so forth. But this was the first time where we could really hang and enjoy each other. Even if I wasn’t shooting I was coming in for stunt training and this or that, hair tests, coming into her trailer and hanging out with her and [her dog] Gary,” Mr. Hamill said. “There was a comfort level we’d developed over all these years. She knew me. She knew I hadn’t really changed. She knew I wasn’t out to get something.”
Fisher was apparently beloved by all in the cast, both for who she was and what the character of Leia meant to them. Her death at age 60 came after filming had finished and deep into post-production, but it presented a bit of a conundrum for the filmmakers who had anticipated Leia being part of the next film, too.
The adorable pup’s cameo was confirmed by the film’s director Rian Johnson
INDEPENDENT UK – At the closing ceremonies for 2016’s Star Wars Celebration, the world’s largest convention for the franchise, both Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill had a very exact complaint to be made: why are there no dogs in the Star Wars universe?
“I’m just here to make sure Gary gets a part at least in the next [movie],” Fisher said at the time. And it looks as if General Leia got her request: Gary Fisher, her French Bulldog companion that was rarely separated from her side, has a cameo in The Last Jedi.
VULTURE – Today’s Los Angeles press conference for Star Wars: The Last Jedi had a tough act to follow: Two years ago, during the press conference for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, co-star Carrie Fisher had the entire room cracking up with her inimitable wit. Describing the film’s older take on her character Leia as having a “baboon-ass hairstyle” and “kind of a classy gas-station attendant look,” Fisher was on top form that day, issuing dry, delicious answers to journalists’ questions. What did director J.J. Abrams bring to the Star Wars franchise? “Sobriety,” she said. Could she talk about the “girl power” she had in The Force Awakens? Fisher thought about it, “No.”
The Last Jedi’s press conference had no chance of being as funny as that one. Instead, it was much more emotional, since the film features Fisher’s last performance as Leia, shot before the actress died in December of last year. To hear her female castmates tell it, both Leia and Fisher had a profound impact on them.
Co-star Gwendoline Christie, who plays Captain Phasma in the new Star Wars films, recalled first laying eyes on Princess Leia when she was a young girl. “She was very significant when I was 6 and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that character is really different,’” said Christie of the galaxy’s feistiest princess. “I watched TV and film obsessively from such a young age, and it stayed with me for my formative years. She’s really interesting; she’s smart, funny, she’s courageous and bold. She doesn’t care what people think and she isn’t prepared to be told what to do.”
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.
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.
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.