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.
USA TODAY — Carrie Fisher’s death has left a void in a galaxy far, far away, as well as our very own.
The beloved actress/writer, who died from sleep apnea and other factors last December, reprises her role of princess-turned-general Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in theaters Dec. 15), the franchise’s eighth installment.
But according to Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the sci-fi saga, her character was meant to be an even larger part of the action in Star Wars: Episode IX (out Dec. 20, 2019), which has a new director in J.J. Abrams, who replaces Colin Trevorrow.
“You’re going to really love her in (The Last Jedi),” Hamill said during a fan event at New York Comic Con Saturday night. “I know they’re going to try and find a way to close her story in (Episode) 9 that gives her the respect she deserves, because (Han Solo) was more prominent in 7 (The Force Awakens), Luke’s a little more prominent in 8, and certainly Leia was meant to be more prominent in 9.
“Worldwide, everyone feels that gap she left,” Hamill added. “But we all have to hang in there. And if she’s out there somewhere, we have to give her the one-finger salute. Come on everybody, for Carrie,” he said, imploring the crowd to raise middle fingers in the air as a tribute to Fisher, who was 60.
Earlier, Hamill got emotional discussing his longtime friend and co-star, whose mother, screen legend Debbie Reynolds, died one day after Fisher from an intracerebral hemorrhage at age 84. They are survived by Fisher’s daughter, actress Billie Lourd, who described their deaths as “surreal and impossible to deal with” in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres last month.
“Ordinarily, (Carrie’s) timing was exquisite, but in this case, it’s heartbreakingly difficult to even acknowledge the loss,” he said. “And I’m selfish about it. I talk about, ‘Oh, she would’ve made things so much more fun.’ But think about what Billie’s going through. Not only to lose her mom, but the very next day, her grandmother? It’s just unimaginable. I can’t think of anything quite like it.”
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.
This is an older article but I thought it was so good I wanted to post it on the site.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
By ELIZABETH JOHNSON
Actor, writer and mental health advocate Carrie Fisher (“Star Wars,” “Family Guy,” “When Harry Met Sally”) was in Sarasota Saturday for “An Afternoon with Carrie Fisher” for the Mental Health Community Centers. The event was sponsored by the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation and underwritten by The Isermann Family Foundation. Fisher, who has bipolar disorder, met with Herald-Tribune Staff Writer Elizabeth Johnson to discuss mental illness, drug addiction and “Star Wars.”
Q: What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 29?
A: I was a very drug-interested person, so it was sort of chaotic, but not entirely. I actually was diagnosed — they tried to diagnose me at 24 — and I just got mad because I thought the shrink didn’t want to treat me, so he just told me I had this thing. Anyway, you cannot diagnose someone who is actively doing drugs or alcohol. Because if you’re doing drugs or alcohol in an abusive way, you’re going to seem bipolar.
Q: What was it like to be diagnosed?
A: It was after I was a year sober. I was not going to go. I got sober and then I came in with a bunch of people so we all hung out. They calmed down, and I went in the other direction. When I got sober, I thought, “Well, that’s it. I’m an alcoholic or an addict, so that’s what’s wrong with me. I don’t need therapy.” A year later, when I was going to have to turn myself into the brain police, I was not happy.
Carrie Fisher with her therapy dog, Gary.
Q: What drugs were you using before that diagnosis?