Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, Gone at 60

Carrie Fisher, Oct 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016

It is a dark time for the rebellion.

ADDITIONAL NEWS: Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, was transported to the hospital by Los Angeles paramedics in the 1:00 p.m. hour, and was reported to have passed away before 6:00. Our hearts go out to her son Todd Fisher, her granddaughter Billie Lourd and all their family.

 

At the age of 60 Carrie Fisher has passed Tuesday morning, only a few days after suffering from a massive heart attack.  Carrie was on flying back from London after a tour for her new book, The Princess Diarist, when the heart attack occurred.

Throughout her lifetime, Carrie starred in many movies and television shows.  Naturally, her most well known role was Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars films.  In addition, Carrie had a recurring role on Family Guy as Peter Griffin’s boss and on Robot Chicken as Princess Leia herself.  Carrie recently reprised her role as Leia in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and had been working on the next installment in the Star Wars saga.  Her daughter, Billie Lourd, confirms that Carrie had already shot her scenes for Episode VIII.

Along with having a thriving career as an actress, Carrie Fisher was a talented writer.  She has written five novels, three autobiographical books, four screenplays, and three plays.  Carrie was even considered early on to write Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

In addition to being a beloved actress and author, Carrie was a very important role model for those struggling with mental illness, particularly addiction.  Having battled many demons and come out stronger because of it, she was an inspiration for others dealing with the same struggles.  These problems were a common theme in her writing.

Carrie Fisher was the daughter of Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds and pop star Eddie Fisher.  Carrie is survived by her daughter, Billie Lourd, also an actress. This marks the second passing from the Star Wars universe this year, the first being Kenny Baker, the man inside R2D2 in the original film, who passed away last August.

My own relationship with Princess Leia as a Star Wars fan is a unique one.  Born in the generation after the original trilogy, I grew up with Padmé Amidala and Ahsoka Tano.  When I joined the Rebel Legion, a international group where we dress up as Star Wars characters for charity, I never imagined myself being so close to Leia.  I was one of two characters going to an autistic boy’s birthday party, and realized that he needed something special. My boyfriend and I quickly made a Leia costume and I’ve never been the same.

I quickly realized what this character means to so many and the impact she has on young girls. I am not an outgoing or charismatic person, but when I put on those iconic cinnamon buns, everything changes.  I hear Leia’s name yelled across baseball stadiums, little girls run and attack my legs during parades, and through Leia I show young girls that they can be anything they want and there is no shame in loving Star Wars. None of this would be possible, of course, without Carrie Fisher’s strength backing the character.  Sometimes, the damsel isn’t in distress; she’s coming to the rescue.

Carrie Fisher’s legacy will live on through those who capture the character she portrayed and through the timelessness of her work.  Fans all over the world love Carrie as an actress, author and inspiration, but as Princess Leia’s longtime friend Lor San Tekka once remarked, “To me, she’s royalty.”

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