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RIP Carrie Fisher

To say 2016 has been a complete motherfucker is a severe understatement! We’ve lost some great people this year — from David Bowie to Muhammad Ali to Gene Wilder to George Michael to my favorite musical artist ever, His Royal Badness, Prince. Now this literal killer year has claimed yet another iconic figure.

Carrie Fisher, best known for her legendary role of Princess Leia, passed away earlier today at the age of 60, due to complications from a heart attack she had on December 23rd.

For those unaware, Fisher was on flight from London to Los Angeles and suffered a massive heart attack mid flight. She was rushed to a local LA hospital and was reportedly in stable condition as of yesterday. It seems the whole time she was in intensive care and was unresponsive. The news was broken by Billie Lourd’s (Fisher’s daughter) publicist in a statement which read:

“On Tuesday morning Lourd’s publicist released the following statement confirming her passing:  “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning. She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers”

Fisher was the daughter of Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. She had first role in the Warren Beatty comedy Shampoo and shortly after got that role that would be her most iconic and the one that has inspired millions of girls to either cosplay or dress up as on Halloween. She got cast in a little film, a “space opera” as it was called. This little oddball film was so far under the radar, the studio had no faith in it and dumped it in the summer (this was back before there was such a thing as the Summer Blockbuster, which this film and Jaws help establish). Fox had so little faith in this film, they actually agreed to sign off on the merchandising rights to George Lucas, the film’s writer and director.

The film featured only 2 known actors in Alec Guinness and Hammer Horror icon Peter Cushing as Ben “Obi Wan” Kenobi and Gran Moff Tarkin respectively. The main characters were filled with fresh-faced actors that were about to become household names. Fisher was cast as the fiesty and badass Princess Leia Organa in the film STAR WARS. She would be joined by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and the incomparable Harrison Ford as Han Solo. It is known in some circles that Fisher was the only cast member who was truly excited about the script and realized that this was the beginning of something big. The other actors did not share her enthusiasm, as they saw film as hokey and a silly little sci fi picture.

To everyone’s surprise (except Fisher), Star Wars became a huge cultural phenomenon and become part of people’s lives. Fisher was on point as the fiery damsel in not so distress, and she has become a beloved film character to millions of fans around the world. Fisher would go on to reprise her role of Leia 2 more times in the sequels (or Episodes) to Star Wars.

To avoid being typecast, Fisher began taking on different roles in a variety of films,  most notably The Blues Brothers, The ‘Burbs and Drop Dead Fred. She also made cameo appearances in Austin Powers International Man Of Mystery, Scream 3 and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back…much to the delight of her fans. She has also served as an uncredited Script Doctor to a lot of films that people would be shocked to know she was involved with, like Lethal Weapon 3 for example. She was most recently the voice of Angela on the Fox hit animated comedy Family Guy.

Fisher was also a published a author, writing “Postcards from the Edge”, which was a semi-autobiographical story about her relationship with her mother. That book was adapted into a feature film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. She also wrote the infamous “The Princess Diarist”, which was making headlines recently due to Fisher explaining that her and Ford had an affair while shooting Star Wars.

In 2013, Disney purchased Lucasfilm for an astounding 4 Billion dollars from George Lucas and in the same press release announced that we would be getting a new Star Wars every year starting in 2015. Rumors ran rampant until Disney finally confirmed that we would be getting the Sequel Trilogy with the a new cast of characters and a few familiar faces. Not surprisingly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a juggernaut at the box office and reaffirmed that Star Wars was here to stay. Fisher reprised the role of Leia in the film…only this time, she was now General Leia Organa, leader of the Resistance.

However, like Max Von Sydow’s character so eloquently put it, “To me she’s royalty.” 

Fisher had just completed filming her scenes in the untitled Star Wars Episode 8 before her untimely death. No news has come out about the future of Leia in the remaining Episode 9 and whether Fisher’s passing will alter plans for the already completed Episode 8.

She was truly a rebel. She did things her way. She was everyone’s Princess. She was a role model to females across the globe. She was a pioneer in the film industry. She will live forever in our hearts.


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