Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The world mourns the death of Carrie Fisher

Tributes have been coming in from around the World today, after yesterday's news that the Star Wars actor, and icon, Carrie Fisher had passed away.

Fisher, shot to fame in 1977, when she played Princess Leia in A New Hope.

On Friday the star fell ill on a flight from London to Los Angeles, suffering from a heart attack as the plane was 15 minutes away from LAX.

Passengers on board the plane tried to resuscitate her but she was reportedly unresponsive, news went silent over the Christmas period, with very few updates on her condition, other than a tweet from her mother Debbie Reynolds saying she was stable.

In a statement it was confirmed Fisher had died at 8:55am on December 27th 2016.

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Saga lead the tributes, with three heartbreaking words...
Meanwhile Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo said of Fisher: "Brilliant, original, funny and emotionally fearless" adding that she was "one-of-a-kind".

Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in The Force Awakens, alongside Fisher said in a statement: "How lucky we all are to have known her, and how awful that we have to say goodbye".

What has been clear from all the tributes today and yesterday evening, is that Carrie Fisher was known for much more than being Princess Leia. She was a beacon of hope for women and young girls around the world, she was hilariously funny, and she was an advocate in every sense of the word, for mental health, being open about her struggles with addiction and bi-polar.

I grew up with Star Wars (not in the 70's, but during my early childhood in the 90's) and the character of Leia, was so strong and powerful, at a time when women still had huge battles in terms of equality, yet here was a woman who certainly didn't need rescuing by any man, and was at the forefront of the Rebel Alliance.

In 1987 autobiographical novel 'Postcards from the Edge', Fisher delivered a brutally honest account, of her struggles with drug addiction and mental health, which the New York Times said "bristles with a bravery and cantor that still feels groundbreaking".

The novel was later turned into a film by the same name, which Carrie Fisher did the screenplay for, and featured Meryl Streep starring alongside Shirley MacLaine.

The film landed two Oscar nominations in 1991, one for Streep as 'Best Actress', the other for the soundtrack.

Fisher recently released another book entitled 'The Princess Diarist', made up of diaries she kept when she was 19, playing Princess Leia in the original Star Wars; in it she revealed a secret she had kept for almost four decades - she'd had an affair with Harrison Ford during filming.

The following interview with Carrie on ABC News' Good Morning America, around the time of The Force Awakens last year, shows how comedic she was and how approachable she came across, despite being considered Hollywood Royalty...

I think this interview, and others, really demonstrate how much Carrie Fisher was able to connect with the public and her honesty always shone through.

As I mentioned Fisher was very much a mental health advocate; The Guardian today posted a link to a column Carrie did for them, in particular a column in which she responded to a letter from a person recently diagnosed with bi-polar - Click Here to read it.

Carrie was unapologetic in this respect, refusing to let her mental health define her or be seen as some sort of weakness, her goal was to break down barriers, and she certainly achieved that.

Since her death many have questioned what is next for Star Wars, as its been reported Fisher has a pivotal role in Episode 8, which she finished filming for before her death.

Though I don't think it's a priority right now as her family and friends mourn her loss, I think it will be very simply solved, there are many options that Disney can explore, such as giving her a fitting send off in Episode 8, or having Fisher in Episode 9 through the magic of CGI, just like they did with Governor Tarkin (Peter Cushing) in Rogue One.

But as I say I really don't think now is the time to be pressing Disney for the in's and out's of how they will figure something out, they just will and I think fans should just be satisfied with that, certainly for the time being.

My thoughts are very much with Carrie Fisher's friends and family at this time.

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