The end of 2016 has sadly brought with it the end of an era with the announcement of the death of the iconic Star Wars movies actress, Carrie Fisher. The author and movie star, who made her name as the infamous Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise at the ripe age of just 21, was announced dead after suffering a fatal heart attack on Friday, December 23 at the age of 60. The announcement of the actress’s death sent shockwaves around the world, ringing with loss of one of Hollywood’s all-time greats. Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, expressed her sadness at the loss of her mother as well as thanking all her fans for their prayers and well-wishes.
“She was loved by the world and she will be profoundly missed. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Carrie Fisher was a cultural icon who lived her life loudly, defiantly and without shame. The daughter of Hollywood legends Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, she was an advocate for mental health issues as well as being outspoken and honest about her struggles with addiction and the love for her dog Gary. Carrie Fisher will best be remembered by some as the rebellious, take no nonsense Princess Leia from Star Wars, while others will remember her for the writer and actress that she was, outside of the Star Wars movies.
As Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher taught us to stand up for what is right. Blasting Storm Troopers and battling the Dark Side, while at the same time portraying a character that showed us how to be brave and strong, inspiring real-life change. Although Luke had the courage, Leia was a smart and tough female leader who could always be relied upon for guidance, showing that she certainly had the brains.
Carrie, throughout her career, helped to write and star in some other memorable movies, other than the Star Wars movies, writing and performing in such movies as The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally. TV roles saw her as the happily self-absorbed mom on the series 30 Rock, while she continued to create success with her print and stage work, eventually being turned into a quasi-memoir movie called Postcards From The Edge starring Meryl Streep. In her hilarious 2009 Broadway show, Wishful Drinking, Carrie recounted her time as Princess Leia, and coupled that with her depression as well as her unusual family life, slashing out even the darkest memories with her out of nowhere one-liners.
As the world got to know and fall in love with Carrie Fisher, we learned that there was more to this iconic actress than just her two buns. As a writer, Carrie showed us where she got her iron spirit from as well as opening up to the world about the realities of her life. We learned of her battles with addiction and mental illness, and she showed us that through being frank, and with a good sense of humor, she was the embodiment of her no-nonsense Star Wars character. Carrie Fisher had a unique way of expressing her inner narrative, from her novels to her memoirs, putting herself out there for all to see meant a lot to those struggling with similar issues.
“I carry her around, and I know her better than anybody else and we wear the same clothes a lot of the time.”
Throughout the roles she played on the big screen and her stories told through her writings, Carrie Fisher became a status symbol for women across the globe. She taught us that women can fight, they could fail, but that they could also rise again. Perhaps the biggest motivation to take from Carrie Fisher’s movies and her work in the Star Wars successes, is that of her iron will and commanding point-of-view, teaching us that we all have to accept our past, and look to the future for something better.
Carrie Fisher, you will be sorely missed.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]