Lucas Films just released a very funny and warm tribute to Carrie Fisher. More specifically as Princess Leia and behind the scenes filming Star Wars. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s very touching and you can find it in this post. Carrie Fisher’s death in December came as a huge shock to many people. It was very sudden. And when someone is taken from us suddenly – even if it is a celebrity – we seem to have a hard time processing that. We often think we know these people because of the characters they play. We understand the hardships and the troubles that the characters go through in some cases, because we ourselves are going through them as well. So when something happens to the actor or actress playing the part, we tend to take it to heart, and it’s as if we have lost something ourselves.
Which seems to be the case with Carrie Fisher. She was an amazing actress and had many roles throughout her life. But we will all remember her as Princess Leia in the “original” Star Wars movies. I remember Carrie in an episode of Sex and the City. She was playing herself, and the episode was based around Vince Vaughan (who played Carrie’s assistant) and Sarah Jessica Parker’s characters. In the end Carrie Fisher thought that Carrie Bradshaw was a prostitute. But I digress. Carrie Fisher was also a mental health advocate, and she herself was managing bipolar disorder. I mention this because I don’t think that’s how we often associate Fisher. We think of her as Princess Leia, and not necessarily as a human playing a character in a movie.
That’s not to diminish the role she was playing, or to even say that acting isn’t important. I think it takes a very special and specific person to be able to act. To be able to transform yourself into another person to provide some kind of entertainment to others. It’s truly incredible. Also incredible was Fisher’s fight to help take away stigma that is associated with mental health issues. I also think it’s hard for people to realize that their idols are simply human. Leia is a strong female character, in a male dominated film. So to associate bipolar disorder with Leia is difficult. But what people need to understand is that a mental health disability doesn’t mean you’re not strong. I think the bigger message or take away should be that Leia could have had a mental health disability as well.
Often times, we don’t see that side of characters because it’s not “sexy”. And in this case, it might not have added any value to the film itself. And sometimes we want to escape the reality of our lives and immerse ourselves in something, or in this case someone else. As I mentioned, Leia is a strong character in the films. Which, you didn’t see as much of at the time. I wonder, though, if Fisher’s portrayal of Leia lead us to have more movies with strong, central female characters? And I’m thinking in the action genre. Or anything that has been typically associated with men.
Carrie Fisher will be, and has been missed by fans everywhere. Another association we make is that we put all of our stock into a character or movie. Saying how “it’s the best” and that movie’s today just aren’t the same. It’s kind of like “they just don’t make them like they used to any more”. And maybe that’s true. Or maybe we are holding onto the memory, or the feeling we had when we watched them. In many cases, we were young kids. For the most part we had very few responsibilities or worries and life was just good. We long for that feeling. Not necessarily how Princess Leia made us feel. No guys, I’m not specifically talking to you. But just that longing for a more simplistic time. And when our idols fall, it forces us to live in our reality. When all we want to do is watch a Star Wars movie and escape our reality for just a few hours.
Carrie Fisher is rumoured to be in the upcoming Star Wars movie, as she passed away after filming.