Monday, January 2, 2017

Carrie “PRINCESS LEIA” Fisher, One with the Force at 60

When the first “Star Wars” film came out in 1977, it fascinated the world with how it transferred conventions of a medieval fantasy adventure story into a science fiction setting to create a sprawling space opera saga that has continued drawing in audiences and fans for decades and multiple films. Another wow element that the moviegoers took a shine to is the character of Leia Organa, the space princess in the story. Although she’s put in distress right off the bat, she never loses her nerve, her indignation at evil people and their evil deeds, as well as her spunk shown when she practically aids in her own escape. Her portrayer, Carrie Fisher, really sold the character’s independent and authoritative nature across the original “Star Wars” trilogy and in “Episode VII: The Force Awakens” back in 2015.

Sadly, Fisher became one of the latest “last-minute” casualties of the celebrity-death- heavy year 2016. The Hollywood Reporter has it that the 60-year- old “Star Wars” actress died at hospital this Tuesday December 27, only four days after suffering a heart attack during a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles. Her passing was confirmed by family spokesman Simon Halls, whose statement went: “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.”

Before cementing her legacy of sorts as space opera’s most famous princess, Carrie Fisher was already something of a young royalty figure in showbiz, being the child of famous personalities: actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. She would grow up with both knowledge and experience of life in the spotlight; her parents divorced when she was aged two, and Eddie Fisher remarried to Elizabeth Taylor. Making her film debut two years before her groundbreaking role in “Star Wars”, her acting career also saw her struggle with substance abuse and its consequences, which she later wrote of in several best-selling books, among theme “Postcards from the Edge” (made into a film starring Meryl Streep), “Wishful Drinking”, and recently “The Princess Diarist” about her memoirs playing Princess Leia and a brief affair with co-star Harrison Ford.

The celebrity world was quick to offer their condolences. Her “Star Wars” buddies Mark Hamill, Ford, Billy Dee Williams and Peter Mayhew were all respectful and affectionate in their sad tweets, reminiscing about the old days. Other personalities couldn’t help but rage at 2016 for its numerous losses. While principal photography for “Episode VIII”, due December 2017, was already done (securing all Fisher’s scenes there), how her character will be handled for “Episode IX” has been cast in doubt.

Perhaps Leia too, like her husband Han Solo, would fall by the hand of their dark-side son. The Force indeed is dark these days.

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