Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Be one with the Force, Carrie Fisher. The Force is with you.

Think of Princess Leia. Think how she could be funny.

Remember that Carrie Fisher was even funnier.

Fisher, a writer, actor, and advocate for surviving mental illness with humor and grace, once said she didn't rewrite much of Leia's dialogue from the original 1977 Star Wars because the character wasn't quite as smart-assed as she was; she wanted Leia to sound like Leia, not like Carrie Fisher. So "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?" and "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought" (not to mention her telling off Darth Vader or blasting her way through prison corridors) are pure Leia. By The Empire Strikes Back Return of the Jedi*, Fisher was more comfortable with finding the right way to rewrite Leia's dialogue, so she did more of it. Come the Nineties, a lot of Fisher's work was as a script doctor, rewriting (mostly without credit) major films. And, of course, she became a published author and memoirist.

Carrie Fisher was open, honest, and unapologetic about her mental health issues and their consequences. She lived with them, and told as many people as she could that those issues are treatable, survivable. She conveyed the message F— you, illness, you're not taking away my joy or my humor.

She lived through a lot in her 60 years. She was a huge figure in my pop-culture life; A New Hope was one of the first films I ever saw in a theater. (I was still WAY too young then for Shampoo.) Her image and her words have shown up in my life ever since; she's a comforting presence.

We'll get Carrie Fisher's presence once more, in her already-completed role in Star Wars Episode VIII, a year from now. And her roles, her books, and words and her attitude deserve to stay with us.

* Edit to make a correction; I was wrong about when Carrie Fisher started rewriting Leia's lines.
Tags: star wars

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