It’s a sad day in the Geek World. Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise, has passed away. Beside saving the galaxy from the Empire, Fisher has starred in several other films including the 1975 comedy “Shampoo” with Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn, the musical comedy “Blue Brothers” with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Whoopi Goldberg in “Soapdish” and played Tom Hanks’ wife in “The ‘Burbs.” She has made guest appearances in several television shows including “Fraiser”, “Ellen”, “Sex and the City” and “Big Bang Theory.” Fisher has lent her voice to her Leia characters for “Robot Chicken” and portrayed Peter Griffin’s boss Angela in “Family Guy.”
Besides being an actress, Carrie Fisher was also an accomplished author. In 1987, Fisher published her first novel, Postcards from the Edge. The book was semi-autobiographical in the sense that she fictionalized and satirized real-life events such as her drug addiction of the late 1970s and her relationship with her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds. The book was a best seller and netted Carrie Fisher the Los Angeles Pen Award for Best First Novel. She later wrote another semi-autobiography “Postcards from the Edge” which discussed her struggles with drug addiction and rehab. The novel was adapted into a movie for which Fisher also wrote the screenplay. From 2006 to 2007, Carrie starred in her one-woman show “Wishful Drinking” at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. She both wrote the screenplay and the show’s nonfictional novel. She also served as one of the top script doctors in Hollywood, writing dialogue for several films. She did uncredited polishes on movies during a 15-year stretch from 1991 to 2005. Among them, Rene Russo’s lines in “Lethal Weapon 3”, the Adam Sandler comedy “The Wedding Singer” and the Dustin Hoffman epidemic “Outbreak.” Fisher was hired by George Lucas in 1992 to refine scripts for his TV series “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” which follows the adventures of the title character in his earlier years. Her “Star Wars” co-star Harrison Ford portrayed adult Indiana Jones in Lucas’ action adventure film series. Carrie also worked on the scripts from the “Star Wars” prequels.
After making her film debut in “Shampoo”, Fisher landed the role of Princess Leia in “Star Wars” (later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. At the time, she and her fellow actors were not close. They eventually bonded after the film’s commercial success. This led to a short period in which Fisher and Harrison Ford dated (while he was married to Mary Marquardt at the time). She returned to the role for “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.” In 1983, Fisher appeared on the front cover of Summer issue of Rolling Stone magazine in the metal bikini she wore when her character was held prisoner by Jabba the Hut. The costume later took on a life of its own among fans. Carrie would return to Leia and “Star Wars” after thirty years when she, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford confirmed they would reprise their roles for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. When asked about her involvement in a TV Guide interview, Carrie Fisher remarked, “I’d like to wear my cinnamon bun hairstyle again but with white hair. I think that would be funny.” Fisher has a brief cameo in “Rogue One” where she appears as a young Leia via CGI animation.
Carrie Fisher was married to singer Paul Simon for one year from 1983 to 1984. In 1991, she met talent agent Bryan Lourd and had a daughter Billie Lourd. She was briefly engaged to Dan Aykroyd and a close relationship with James Blunt in 2003. On December 23, 2016, while on a flight from London to Los Angeles, Fisher went into cardiac arrest fifteen minutes before touchdown. A passenger performed CPR on her until paramedics arrived and took her to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center where she was placed on a ventilator. Sadly, Fisher died on December 27, 2016. Carrie Fisher was age 60.
Star Wars had become one of the “Greatest Sci-Fi Films of All Time” and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia would become one of the most “Iconic Female Characters in Films”. Mel Brooks parodied Star Wars with his comedy movie “Spaceballs”. The “Leia” character is changed to Princess Vespa, portrayed by Daphne Zuniga. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane poked fun at all three movies with Lois Griffin as Princess Leia. Leia herself has become an inspiration for young girls and women. She is seen as an empowering figure for feminism, being strong and resilient. She can play with the boys and, if she wanted to, show them who is in charge. Female fans honor the character by dressing up, mostly favorably in the iconic metal bikini from “Return of the Jedi.” The cinnamon bun hairstyle has become synopsis with the character and Fisher herself. Billie Lourd’s, Carrie Fisher’s daughter, character in the FOX horror-comedy series “Scream Queens” wore earmuffs to pay homage to her mother. Lourd also appeared in “The Force Awakens” wearing Leia’s signature hairstyle.
Carrie Fisher is an inspring and empowering actress who gave us one of the most iconic female heroes in sci-fi and movies in general. In Star Wars, she was Princess of Alderaan. For Star Wars fans, she is our princess who will be loved and adorned for all time. And most of all, missed dearly.
The scene that set the tone for “A New Hope.”
Fisher as Angela in “Family Guy.”
Carrie returns to “Star Wars” for The Force Awakens.