Shocked, upset, lost, and sad—these are the emotions I felt today when I heard the news. Apparently, 2016 (possibly one of the saddest year in the entertainment industry) isn’t done yet. There’s already a long list of beloved stars and famous figures who passed away this year, including boxing legend Muhammad Ali and music icons David Bowie and Prince. And quite recently, (on Christmas day, no less) pop star George Michael died as well. Now, I really thought that that would be the end of it. That we can say finally goodbye to this horrendous year. I was actually hoping for a brand new start in 2017. But, like I said, 2016 isn’t done yet. Now, the world mourns for the untimely demise of the beloved Carrie Fisher of Star Wars fame.
Shocked as I was when I first heard the news, I immediately checked the Net to confirm if it’s true. I really hoped it was just another one of those hoax, but sadly (sigh) it wasn’t. Reports say that Carrie Fisher was about to fly from London to LA on Friday, Dec.23, when she went into cardiac arrest. She was immediately removed from the flight and was rushed to the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, four days later, she died. She was 60.
Carrie Fisher: Pop Culture Icon
Carrie Fisher is best known around the world as Leia Organa, the witty and the gritty Princess/Galactic Senator turned rebel General from the epic Star Wars saga. It was in 1977, when Fisher was just 19, when she was cast in the now iconic sci-fi series. Star Wars’ first installment, A New Hope, actually started with the Princess being chased (via spaceships, of course) by the main antagonist in the series, Darth Vader. And with the help of two droids (R2-D2 and C3P0), she was able to send out a secret message to a certain Jedi named Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) before being captured by Vader—-thus, set in motion the epic adventures of Leia together with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and the rest of the rebellion against the evil galactic empire. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Carrie Fisher: The Actress and The Writer
Although I admire the Sci-Fi series character, to me, she’s more than just Princess Leia. Of course, Carrie owed a lot from playing the iconic princess, but her career shouldn’t just be judged solely on Star Wars. More than just the pop culture icon, Carrie Fisher was a talented actress, a writer, and a comedian. After the original Star Wars Trilogy, Fisher appeared in films like The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, and Hannah and Her Sisters. She was also a scriptwriter (though not credited) with films such as Sister Act, Hook, The Wedding Singer, Last Action Hero, and The River Wild. Plus, Fisher also had a somewhat prolific TV career with her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, which actually garnered a lot of great reviews and was turned into a book and eventually made its way to Broadway in 2009.
Carrie Fisher: A Beautiful Human Being
In her memoirs, Postcards From the Edge, Wishful Drinking, and The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher revealed so much about herself. In fact, she didn’t hold back writing about her initial reluctance to fame, her substance abuse, and her mental health issues. When it comes to her role as Princess Leia, she thought the now recognizable hairstyle was idiotic. She even wrote with trademark sarcasm: “I weighed about 105 at the time, but to be fair, I carried about fifty of those pounds in my face! So you know what a good idea would be? Give me a hairstyle that further widens my already wide face.”
Fisher also openly talked about her struggles with substance abuse and her bipolar disorder. In Wishful Drinking, she even gave details of her overdose incident and her mental health problem. After struggling through addiction and depression, Fisher eventually came out of them stronger and more determined than ever. She subsequently became an advocate of mental health awareness. Yes, she’s made a lot of mistakes in her life, but she still managed to fight through them. Yes, that’s how she was as a person, much like Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher was a fighter. And that’s what’s so admirable about her.
The world now mourns for the loss of such a talented actress and most specially, a beautiful human being. Here are some messages from celebrities expressing their griefs via various social networking sites:
“There are no words for this loss. Carrie was the brightest light in every room she entered. I will miss her dearly.” – Peter Mayhew; played Chewbacca in Star Wars.
“I’m deeply saddened at the news of Carrie’s passing. She was a dear friend, whom I greatly respected and admired. The force is dark today!” – Billy Dee Williams; played Lando Calrissian in Star Wars.
“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher. I will miss our banterings. A wonderful talent & light has been extinguished.” – William Shatner; actor, close friend
“no words #Devastated” – Mark Hamill; played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
“Carrie was one-of-a-kind … Brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely.” – Harrison Ford; played Han Solo in Star Wars.
Debbie Reynolds, actress and Carrie Fisher’s mom, wrote this via Facebook:
“Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love Carries Mother”
She is survived by her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, daughter actress Billie Lourd, brother Todd Fisher, and sisters Joely Fisher and Tricia Fisher.
As we all say goodbye to a truly one-of-kind person, I, and I’m sure for a lot of fans out there: we love you, Carrie and we will surely miss you. May The Force be with you. Always.
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