Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the "Star Wars" franchise, died Tuesday morning at the age of 60 due to heart complications.
According to a CNN article, Fisher was flying home from London on Friday after filming the newest season of the Amazon series “Catastrophe” when she suffered a heart attack moments before the plane landed.
It is difficult to put into words what this loss means — not solely for the world of arts and entertainment, but for the world as a whole. Carrie Fisher was not just an actress, but a representation of what it means to be human.
Fisher began her career with a supporting role in the 1975 film “Shampoo,” alongside Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. However, it wasn’t until 1977 that she gained prominence in George Lucas’ “Star Wars” as Princess Leia. In this portrayal, we find one of the strongest female characters in all of cinema. Fisher played Leia not as a damsel in distress, but as a woman who continued to fight for her cause, despite losing her planet and family as a result of the evil Empire.
Throughout the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Fisher embodied a character who was capable, witty and smart. This characterization continued to develop 30 years later when Fisher returned for “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” in 2015, depicting Leia as a general working with the Resistance against the evil First Order. Fisher embodied a character that many women could look up to, setting the bar for what strong female characters should look like.
Although Fisher is primarily known for her acting credentials, she also had experience in writing. According to an article from People, Fisher worked on many prominent screenplays, including “The Wedding Singer” and “Sister Act.” Fisher also wrote a memoir called “The Princess Diarist,” a compilation of diary entries she wrote while filming “Star Wars.”
Fisher faced challenges off the screen as well. Throughout her life, she struggled with bipolar disorder and drug addiction. According to a Vice article, she was active in promoting awareness for mental illness, proving that a person doesn’t need a laser blaster or the Force to be a hero.
Her life may have been cut off far too short, but the impact she made is immeasurable. Carrie Fisher left behind a legacy not just through her role as Leia, but through all of the lives she has affected. She showed us what heroism looks like, both on and off the screen. The galaxy will not be the same without her.