Yesterday would have been the 61st birthday of actress, writer and mental health advocate Carrie Fisher.
Originally known to audiences as Princess Leia Organa from the Star Wars films, she was the daughter of the late singer Eddie Fisher and his first wife, actor/singer, the late Debbie Reynolds.
I could write about what her legacy is to the millions of Star Wars fans around the world and to the millions who are suffering from mental illness, but that’s been done. I want to remember as a woman who was not afraid to call out the bullshit, especially in Hollywood. Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke two weeks ago, the floodgates of women who were sexually assaulted, not just by Weinstein, but other men in Hollywood have come forward. One of these men assaulted a friend of hers and Carrie responded as only she could.
In honor of Carrie, I give you Star Wars Rap Battle: Han Solo vs Princess Leia.
Happy Birthday, Carrie. You are gone, but never forgotten.
Writing fan fiction, as easy as it appears to be, can be tenuous. The writer must balance the story they wish to write with the already established narrative and characters that readers are looking for.
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Leia, Princess of Alderaan, by Claudia Gray, takes place three years before A New Hope. Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan is 16. Before she can be officially named as heir to the throne, she must complete a series of tasks that are designed to test her. While she is going about accomplishing these tasks, the Empire is tightening the noose on the universe and Leia is slowly being drawn into the rebellion that she will one day lead.
Warning! The video below has spoilers about the book.
I truly enjoyed this book. Ms. Gray creates a new narrative for Leia while building in the facts (and some well placed Easter eggs) that fans are familiar with. Above all, what strikes me is that despite her status and what she is experiencing, Leia is still a teenage girl who is going through the same growing pains that we all go through at that age.
I recommend it.
For the most part, when someone famous dies the response is as follows: their death is reported in the media, there maybe some smatterings of memorials on social media and then they are remembered during in memoriam section during the next awards ceremony.
When Carrie Fisher passed away suddenly from a heart attack at the end of last year, it was a shock to the cultural system. As an actress, writer and mental health advocate, she has been a part of our cultural landscape since 1977.
I recently purchased the Vanity Fair 40th anniversary Star Wars editions.
The one section of the article that struck me was a conversation that she had with John Boyega in 2014 when the original trailer for The Force Awakens was released. The backlash of having not just a black storm trooper,but also a black leading man did not sit well with some fans. Fisher’s response to the backlash and Boyega’s reaction to the backlash was simple: “you do you”.
Out of everything that I remember her for, it is the fact that she was her authentic self, warts and all. While some of us present a certain image depending on whom we are with, Fisher was not afraid to be herself, even if that meant revealing her demons or her less than ideal past.
She encouraged her fans to be themselves and not be afraid to reveal their own dark sides.
While I will always adore her as Princess Leia, it is her fearlessness that will continue to inspire me and her fans around the world.
RIP Carrie. Gone, but never, ever forgotten.
Happy Fathers Day to all of the amazing fathers out there, especially my own.
40 years ago today, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, hit theaters.
It was more than the average movie. It is more than just a science fiction movie set in outer space. Star Wars is revolutionary because it changed the way movies are made. Star Wars is part fairy tale, part social commentary and all around awesome. Before May 25th, 1977, no one knew who Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader were. 40 years later these characters, the world they inhabited and the actors behind the characters have become iconic in their own right.
I could go on forever on why I love Star Wars, but I think the trailer of A New Hope says it all.
Thank you, George Lucas for creating this world and introducing us to these characters. You have made multiple generations of fans happy and I hope you will continue to do so for many years.
Happy Birthday Star Wars, here is to another 40 years.
There is no greater indication of a loyal and loving fandom than the creativity of the fans. Whether it is art, music or fanfiction, it is amazing how we express our love of our favorite movie, book or television show.
Regular readers of this blog know that I can easily fangirl over Star Wars. My recent discovery of Star Wars Rap Battle has made me very happy. The best among the series is Han V. Leia and Han and Leia V. Finn and Rey.
I hope you enjoy the video and the series overall as much as I have. It has certain put a smile on my face.
When Carrie Fisher passed away last December, it was a heartbreaking loss. But while her physical presence is gone, she is still with us in spirit.
Today was the first day of Star Wars Celebration, an annual event celebrating anything and everything related to Star Wars. This year also commemorates the 40th anniversary release of Episode 4: A New Hope.
With the anniversary of A New Hope and the release of The Last Jedi later this year, our thoughts are turning to Carrie and how big the void is since she left this world.
The tribute put together includes a short video and an appearance by Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, wearing a white dress (though not exactly like her mother’s costume, but close enough).
The video below is both heartbreaking and brings a smile to the faces of those of us who miss hear dearly.
I don’t know about any other fan, but I am preparing to bring quite a few bags of Kleenex when I see the The Last Jedi in December.
You are missed, Carrie. In the words of our mutual ancestors, z”l.
Fiction, if nothing else, is a dramatization of real life.
The late Carrie Fisher was one of those writers who was brilliantly able to translate her personal life to the page.
Her debut novel was 1987’s Postcards From The Edge. The novel opens with Suzanne Vale, a young actress with a Hollywood pedigree who is in a drug addiction rehabilitation facility. After leaving the facility, she returns to work, but Hollywood, being Hollywood doesn’t make it easy to return to normal life.
Writing about aspects of the human condition that affects us all-money, success, sex, addiction, our own insecurities, etc, Fisher proves once more why she is respected for her writing as she much as she is respected for her acting.
I recommend it.
One of the best anecdotes about writing that I’ve heard is that a writer has to fully live to be able to create compelling narratives and characters.
The late Carrie Fisher lived more in her 60 years than many of us do in half that time.
Her 2011 memoir, Shockaholic, is a followup to her hit 2009 memoir, Wishful Drinking.
As she did in Wishful Drinking, Ms. Fisher does not leave any stone un-turned. No topic is off-limits. Her family, her past drug abuse,her mental health issues, her career and so much more are all touched on with a fresh, in your face and funny point of view as only Carrie Fisher can create.
I recommend it.
The late Carrie Fisher was more than an actress known for the iconic role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies. She was a writer, a feminist, the face of mental illness and a badass who took no prisoners, especially when it came to her own life.
Her 2008 book, Wishful Drinking, is an autobiography as only Carrie Fisher can write it. Pulling no punches, she writes about everything from her conventional as only Hollywood can create family, to her iconic role in Star Wars, to her public bouts with addiction and mental illness and finally to the fact she was no longer the 19-year-old she was when she Star Wars:A New Hope in 1977.
This book is hysterical and is everything that we, as fans, loved about her. Brassy, bold and not afraid to lay all of her cards on the table, she lets it all hang out in a way that is joyous and wonderful. I absolutely recommend it.
I also recommend the one woman stage show based on the book. It is nothing short of perfection.
RIP Carrie. Your gone two months, we miss you everyday. Z”l.