On this day of course we want to remember Carrie Fisher for what is not only her most iconic role, but by far one of the most iconic roles (which included one of the most iconic costumes) in cinematic history. Of course I am talking about her portraying Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise.
What’s most amazing about her being such an absolute icon of cinema is that Star Wars was only her second movie role, and she’d also only done one other tv appearance at that point (Shampoo and Debbie Reynolds and the Sound of Children) – and neither had been big parts either. Through the Star Wars films she appeared in 6 movies – the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy:
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
The Force Awakens
The Last Jedi
The Rise of Skywalker
The latter two movies were released in 2017 and 2019 with her sadly passing away in 2016. Footage of her was shot for The Last Jedi and those scenes were included posthumously whilst some unused footage was cut together for inclusion in the Rise of Skywalker, and for me at least it worked really well and added a whole new emotional dimension to those two films for fans of the movies and of her.
As well as being an icon as the character of Princess Leia as a sassy space princess who can look after herself and stands up to the evils in the universe, she of course also morphs in to somewhat of a sex symbol, including for many years to come – even though the main catalyst for this – the iconic slave girl outfit which sees her as a prisoner of Jabba the Hutt, was a wardrobe choice she absolutely hated. Is there a more iconic dress, and hairstyle combo than this though? Although even without that outfit Princess Leia was so much more and even in a bikini she was able to kick ass!
It’s brilliant that she was included in the later films to play a general in the resistance army, becoming so much more than a princess and acting as a mother figure for the later, younger members of the cast. I know that a lot of people felt that the old actors were used to bring old fans back to the franchise and tie them films together with the original trilogy, but I disagree. Even though Carrie Fisher wasn’t a hugely prolific actress, especially in the mid years of her career through fighting her own demons, she was an incredible actress and brought that talent to the franchise.
Especially for nerds like me seeing her in other shows or films always put a smile on my face… You just cant help but project Leia on to which ever other part she might be playing!
During her career she was nominated for 8 awards, winning a Saturn Awards Presidents Award in 1990. However, was also nominated for a further 5 of which she won a further 2, after she passed away. These were the 2018 Teen Choice Awards for Fantasy Actress (showing that the new audience equally appreciated her addition to the Star Wars films) and a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album – Truly multi talented!
I’m not going to dwell on her passing but will say my respects for her passing on 27th December 2016, which was very sadly followed by her mother, Debbie Reynolds, passing away on 28th December 2016. She was actually returning on a flight from the UK when she became ill where she had been doing a book signing tour and some tv appearances. Her very last appearance on tv was on the British show 8 out of 10 cats. It wasn’t until later that I found out that it was on her return from the tour that she became ill, but even before knowing that, the episode of 8 out of 10 cats is my favourite to date.
I genuinely enjoy 8 out of 10 cats and the the countdown spinoff – it’s always a funny show, but having her on there was so much better than usual… Even without a script she was an absolute riot! Fun yet cranky whilst serious and hilarious! Her Princess Leia attitude was 100% real! If you’ve never seen that episode I’d highly recommend it – what a way to hold her in our memories, what an absolute legend who sadly left us far too early!
I am sure that she will always be remembered as our princess and our general!
Other notable movies and tv shows which she was in by the way include (sometimes just as a cameo – but with Carrie Fisher, some times that’s all you needed to brighten a whole film):
The Blues Brothers
When Harry Met Sally
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Sex and the City
The Big Bang Theory