The Life and Legacy of Carrie Fisher


Eliana Flores, Opinions Editor

With the holidays approaching, many are prepared for yet another Star Wars reboot. However, many don’t know the imporance of Carrie Fisher, also known as Princess Leia Organa from Star Wars.

She left behind an important legacy after she died at the age of 60 from a heart attack from usage of drugs and alcohol. But that does not mean we won’t remember her forever. She will be missed by her many fans, but her memory lives on in the next Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker. 

Carrie Fisher’s acting career started out with her dropping out of High School around the age of 16 because she was acting in a Broadway show called Irene. She then enrolled at the school, London Central School of Speech and Drama. Fisher stayed there for about 18 months. Carrie then got accepted to Sarah Lawrence College to study the arts, but she later left without graduating. 

Carrie Fisher debuted in her first movie in 1975 at the age of 18. She played as Lorna Karpf from Columbia Pictures comedy, Shampoo. People like Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn also starred in the hit film. People who watched the movie loved the way Carrie acted and fans started coming around to her. 

In 1977, Carrie Fisher became what people know her as, Princess Leia Organa from the first Star Wars film ever made Star Wars: A New Hope. This is the character that made Carrie Fisher famous, and what made her, well, her. Actors that starred in the film Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, may Han rest in peace. Other actors include Alec Guness as Obi Wan Kenobi, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, David Prowse as Darth Vader, and Kenny Baker as R2-D2. Mark Hamill, and Harison Ford became the best of friends after the film debuted. 

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The poster for Star Wars: A New Hope

In the beginning of the 1980’s Carrie Fisher starred in the movie The Blues Brothers, as a vengeful ex-wife. A couple of months later Carrie was seen in a Broadway show called King Kong back in 1980. In the same year, Lucas film re-signed Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. At the time the film was #2 in the Star Wars Sagas, but now it is considered Episode 5, because of the Prequels. 

In 1983, the last Star Wars Saga came out to theaters all over the world. Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, just like all of the Star Wars film was a great success. She thought she would never again become Princess Leia again, but in 2016 she came back as Senator Leia Organa, or now Skywalker. 

In the 1990’s she starred in movies such as, Postcards From the Edge, Drop Dead Fred, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, Roseann, Arsenic and Old Moms, Lethal Weapon 3, Outbreak, the Wedding Singer, and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. 

In the 2000’s to name a few she starred in movies such as Heart breaker, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Charlie’s Angels, Romancing the Bride, It’s Christmas Carol, and the Star Wars movies The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and the newest one The Rise of Skywalker. 

Carrie Fisher also was nominated for many awards, and won many of them. In 1977 she was nominated for best actress for the movie Star Wars. In 1983 she was nominated at the Saturn Awards for the Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi. Back in 1990 she won an award for the President’s award. He was so happy because she finally won an award. In 1991 Carrie was nominated at BAFTA awards for best acted screenplay for her movie Postcards on the Edge. Now going to more recent times, in 2008 at the Emmy Awards, she was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. In 2010 at the Grammy’s, Carrie was nominated for best spoken word album for her Wishful Drinking book. In 2011 she was nominated for outstanding variety, music, or comedy special for her work in her Wishful Drinking book again. In 2016 she was once again nominated for best supporting actress for her acting in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. At the Hugo Awards in 2017 she was nominated for best related work, for her book the Princess Diarist. In the same year she was nominated for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, for her work in Catastrophe. In 2018 she won her second award from her work in The Princess Diarist. She also got nominated for her work in the Last Jedi, and she one another award.

Carrie Fisher was an author as well. She wrote books such as Wishful Drinking (2008), The Princess Diarist (2016), Shockaholic (2011), and many more. 

In her personal life, she was born on October 21st, 1956 in Burbank, California to a loving family consisting of her mother Debbie Reynolds, who was an actress, and a father, Eddie Fisher, who was a singer. She loved performing in the arts, and she was even, as you may have read, performed in a couple Broadway hits. She loved to act and she became a great actress, and starred in many hit films. In her life though she began having some problems. She started to be addicted to cocaine, and prescription drugs. But, she was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Despite her struggles with addiction and mental health, she was a strong advocate for support for addiction and mental health problems through the publication of her books and was very open about her journey. But despite all of that, she was eventually married on August 16th, 1983 to Paul Simon who was an actor, singer, and songwriter. But it did not last long, because they divorced a year later. But that did not stop her from being a great actress and an author. 

In December of 2016 Carrie was taken to the hospital because she was not feeling right on her flight back to Los Angeles from London. Four days later, in a Los Angeles hospital, Carrie Fisher’s life had ended. She took her last breath on December 27, 2016. According to the LA Times, she had died from a heart attack, possibly because of a drug overdose. A year later Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out in theaters all over the world , and was dedicated to Carrie Fisher. 

But why was Carrie Fisher a huge part of the Star Wars Sagas? Well Julie Hinds who is a Detroit Free Press Pop Culture Critic, says that “Especially for women, Fisher was an icon who honored her own complexity, empowered her sisters in spirit and fought against gender and age biases. We loved her. She knew. Here are five areas that Fisher excelled in during her too-short life. Fisher played Leia as a strong, courageous and independent character who was too feisty to be saintly and too relatable to be stuffy.” 

Carrie Fisher was an amazing actress and author. With the new Star Wars film coming out in December of this year, we will get to see Carrie play her iconic role as Princess Leia once more. We will always remember Carrie as an amazing actress and she will be missed. May the Force be with you Carrie.