“No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
Devastatingly, on December 27th, Carrie Fisher passed away – meaning the world has lost not only a brilliant actress, but a woman so genuine and so full of energy. The quote above is just a small example of this; during the shooting of the first Star Wars film, whilst wearing her signature white outfit, she was approached by George Lucas, demanding she removed her bra, as ‘there is no underwear in space’. Amused by the absurdity of his demand, Carrie Fisher fought against it – by humorously preparing her obituary many years in advance.
Launched into stardom through her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars movies, Carrie Fisher was no stranger to fame when born – as the daughter of Academy Award-nominated actress Debbie Reynolds and pop singer Eddie Fisher. Fisher made her film debut in the 1975 movie ‘Shampoo’, with the generation-defining ‘Star Wars’ following two years later. At the time, she thought it was just a “little science-fiction” film, with no-one able to predict the incredible popularity it would gain – becoming so much a part of popular culture.
Fisher’s role as Leia produced some of the most famous scenes in movie history, with one perhaps the biggest – the sequence in ‘Return of the Jedi’ where Jabba the Hutt kidnaps her Princess Leia and forces her to don the infamous gold bikini. It speaks volumes of Fisher that rather than allowing herself to merely be seen as the passive victim in the scene, she spoke out about her lack of agency as a woman on screen – not merely because of her outfit, but her lack of acknowledgement from the dominant males in the scene. Regardless, she still gets to kill her captor, which is very badass. Her roles in the Star Wars series show her as a gritty, feisty, determined revolutionary – and we eagerly await her role in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’, in which she has played a much bigger part than in ‘The Force Awakens’.
I don’t want my life to imitate art, I want my life to be art.
Not only known for her brilliant turns in ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ and many more, Carrie Fisher sought to educate the world on mental health issues, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and suffering from addiction. Her public discussion of her issues, claiming that ‘drugs made me feel normal’ and helped to ‘dial down’ the manic aspect of her biploar disorder, helped to remove some stigma from discussions of these issues, allowing many around the world to share their experiences also. In 2016, Harvard College awarded Fisher with its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, explaining that it was for ‘her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism’.
Carrie Fisher lived her life to its fullest, never shying away from honesty and openness. On screen, she not only took on some of the most defining moments in film history, but sought to advance how actresses were perceived. Outside of her acting, she is described by many as incredibly funny, with an irreverent wit, but perhaps most importantly, an authenticity and kindness that is often lacking within the industry. Carrie Fisher will be truly missed.
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 27, 2016
Carrie Fisher dedicated her platform to mental health awareness & female empowerment. She is a reason + reminder to keep up your fight. RIP
— h (@halsey) December 27, 2016
"she was our great & powerful princess – feisty, wise & full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think"- Lucas
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) December 27, 2016
She was the brightest, funniest, bravest, kindest, cleverest and sweetest person I ever knew. A crushing blow to lose @carrieffisher
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) December 27, 2016
Carrie Fisher, your role inspired a generation of scientifically curious space explorers. You changed the world & you will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/kpnvu8OQOC
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) December 27, 2016