On December 27, the unthinkable happened. The world lost Carrie Fisher. Family, friends, colleagues, and fans have shared their grief over the devastating reality that she’s gone. Known not only for her most famous role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, but also as a best-selling author, first-rate actress, script doctor, and mental-health advocate. Most importantly, she was a mother, a daughter, and a sister. She leaves a hole no one will ever fill. Carrie Fisher was one-of-a-kind and loved by everyone who knew her personally, or were touched by her work and enduring spirit over the years.
We here at Coffee With Kenobi would like to share some recollections of our Princess, our General, our beloved Carrie Fisher.
Listen to our In Memoriam show here.
Ever since Star Wars roared into cinemas in 1977, Carrie Fisher has been a part of my life. The brash, daring mystique of Princess Leia transcends popular culture. We know this.
What many of us didn’t know is how we would feel when Carrie Fisher died. The outpouring of love and admiration over the past 48 hours for Ms. Fisher has been an important reminder of what she has meant to so many of us. Princess turned General. Certainly. Screenwriter and satirist. Absolutely. One of the very best, in fact. Most importantly, she was a mother, as well as a daughter. She has left an indelible mark on the world.
Her legacy, for me, however, lies in the fact that while she was so many things to so many people, one thing we can all agree on is that she was unabashedly herself. She embraced her struggles with mental illness and depression, and turned it into a tireless crusade of awareness. She shined a light on her struggles through wit, wisdom, and most important of all, humor.
Humor is the great device by which many walls come down, and she used this as well as anyone ever did. Our struggles do not define who we are. On the contrary, it is how we reshape them to make the world a better place that leaves a legacy. Carrie Fisher’s larger than life persona on-screen will live on long after we have taken our last breath, in the footsteps of Leia Organa. It is her example of self, however, that makes her our princess.
Rest in peace, dear friend.
As a fan of cinema and pop culture, moments of reality where a beloved star in fandom passes away, I reflect on how they entertained me over the years. Some hit harder than others, Robin Williams comes to my mind, and even still my vision of them pulls these great performers out of the characters they portrayed on-screen. For Carrie Fisher, she never really left the role of Princess Leia for me. It’s just who she was and will forever be. Meeting her in person a few years back, if only briefly, solidifies a place in my own personal fandom and something I will hold on to.
The greatest thing about film is that we can revisit our favorite moments over and over because of the memories that coincide with them. Carrie Fisher’s iconic, and now legendary, role will champion on for generations to come and be a mark of just how powerful one can be on and off the screen. Thank you, Carrie, for being a bright star for me as a fan and entertaining us through the ages, yet above all giving us a message of hope!
I never met Carrie Fisher. I wish I had. Just one of many regrets. I do, however, have this 12” Princess Leia figure from Kenner. Way back in the days before the internet was a thing (for me anyway), I found out about a signing Carrie Fisher would be participating in for some sci-fi/comic book event on the east coast — New York, possibly. I read about the signing in a magazine (I don’t recall which — it was the late 1990s and I’m a bit foggy on specifics), and there was contact information so you could pre-order this figure signed by Ms. Fisher herself. It was a limited offer — she wasn’t going to be signing thousands of these things — so you had to get your orders in promptly. I called the phone number provided, ironed out the details (sadly, no personalizations), and sent in my payment. Sounds fishy now-a-days, doesn’t it?
Anyway, a month or two later, I received this figure in the mail, along with the certificate of authenticity and a photo of her at the event signing these figures. I have those tucked away in my Star Wars collection for safe-keeping (code for: I can’t find them right now as I’m not very organized). This prize, however, is displayed proudly and prominently in my home.
Even more so, now….
Is it authentic? I have no reason to doubt it. Maybe I was a sucker, or maybe I knew this was as close as I would ever come to meeting the brilliant Carrie Fisher.
Goodbye, Carrie. Thank you for 40 years of happiness, love, laughter, wit, bravery, and adventure. You were a constant since I was eight years old — through your movies, your writings, and the uncompromising way you lived life. You were THE one-in-a-million! God rest your soul, my Princess, and be at peace with your dear mother. I will miss you both….
Carrie Fisher meant a great many things to a great many people. To most, she was Princess (and then General) Leia Organa. To others, she was a writer who exhibited a singular wit coupled with a sharp tongue. She was the first crush of many and the first inspiration for many others. I never thought of her in the terms that I thought of other physically beautiful women as a youngster. She was different. Yes, she was beautiful, but Princess Leia’s beauty is not what defined her. That is a testament to the strength of the writing AND her acting. She could play drama, she could play comedy. Maybe she couldn’t sing, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t try (Holiday Special, anyone?). She touched many people with her art and her craft. However, the thing for which I will always remember her, and for which I will forever be impressed and indebted to her is her outspokenness on her struggles.
Most of us know she struggled with addiction and mental illness. She used her platform to present herself, in all of her imperfect glory, to the world. She DARED us to accept her as she was. And we did. I have always wanted to live a genuine life. I wanted to be the same person at work, at home, wherever. Carrie Fisher was Carrie Fisher. She allowed a dialogue to be opened up about the problem of addiction. She was unashamed of her struggles with her mental illness, and I have no doubt that her openness helped countless others have the courage to speak about similar problems. In doing so, we will never know how many lives she touched, and even saved.
THIS is why I mourn Carrie Fisher’s passing, and why I will continue to celebrate her life.
There’s so much to be said about Carrie Fisher that it could take months, if not years, to coalesce it all into something merely bordering on cohesive and illuminating. That’s OK.
“She may be a general to you, but to me, she’s royalty.” has been the oft-quoted snippet of dialogue spoken by Max Von Sydow’s Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As Han Solo said, later in that film, “It’s true. All of it.”
Carrie has always been my first — and only — princess, not because she elucidated royalty, but because she took a character and imbued it with integrity, duty, devotion and kindness that has helped cement not just Star Wars, but the role of General Organa, née Princess Leia, is an icon for the ages.
Her passing, while expected, given the severity of the heart attack she suffered flying from London to Los Angeles, is a devastating loss. Not just to Star Wars fans, but to the community that envelopes it. And, to me.
Throughout her life, Fisher was a stalwart champion for those cast to the margin. She stood up not just to her own demons, but to those would emulate them. Her crafts — acting, writing, parenting — are testaments to the path she blazed, but to see her legacy, I need only look to my daughter, a nine-year-old whose room is awash in princesses. Just not the ones you’d expect.
Like father, so goes the daughter. Leia is her princess. Her first princess. Her only princess. And like Fisher, my daughter is steadfast, stubborn, devoted and dedicated. There is no backing down from a challenge for her, no easy surrender to peer pressure.
And that is how Carrie Fisher’s legacy will remain unmoving and steadfast. As it should be so.
I was 11 years old when Return of the Jedi hit cinema screens. It was the summer of 1983 and a new Star Wars movie was about to enter my life for the third time. I remember smiling when the opening scene played out in front of me. I was still smiling after I left the cinema and for the rest of the day. I left with a new friend, Return of the Jedi but also my first crush in my life, Princess Leia.
It’s obvious to say the slave bikini may have contributed to my crush, coupled with my age, but I remember quite vividly that for the first time I noticed how beautiful Carrie Fisher was. In particular her alluring eyes. For the next few years I had posters of Fisher on my wall and my Kenner Star Wars figure of Leia became one of my favourites especially ‘Leia in Hoth Gear.’
The posters eventually came down, the Kenner figures became collectibles on display, but my crush for Carrie Fisher never went away. Last year I was lucky enough to meet her in person at London Film & Comic Con. I was nervous. After all, what if she didn’t meet my expectations after all these years? I had nothing to worry about. She was so friendly and incredibly cuddly. When she gave me a hug and said ‘there’s no rush’ I couldn’t but savour the moment and, just like that moment in 1983, I had a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day.
I love you Carrie. Thank you for being my first crush and my Princess.
Carrie Fisher was many things to many people. Princess Leia was many things to many people. She brought a light to the world that only certain kinds of people can. She was funny, smart, beautiful, flawed, strong, and open. I didn’t often relate to Leia as much as I did to Han or Luke but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t learn valuable lessons from her either. She stood for peace, honesty, and justice in the face of those that would have erased those pillars. For that I am ever thankful. RIP Carrie. May the Force be with you.
Hope. It knows no bounds and Carrie Fisher, our beloved Princess, our sassy Senator, and our fierce General taught us that. For she ignited the Stars in the galaxy far, far away and will continue to do so … always.
Princess Leia was the first Princess I knew, and she was from another world, an entirely different galaxy from those I would come to know later on in my life. At the age of four, or soon-to-be four, she made a lasting impression on me. I wanted to be her. My earliest memories of that is the summer of 1978 at Sprague Brook Park Campgrounds. My brother and cousins were playing Star Wars in the woods and using sticks as lightsabers and blasters. Before I went off to join them, I remember asking, no pleading with my mother to put my hair in “Leia buns.” I couldn’t have been any happier running off to play and looking like my heroine before I even knew what heroine meant. Only to be told by my brother and cousins that I couldn’t have a stick for a lightsaber because “girls” couldn’t be Jedi. Funny, I’ve often wondered how Carrie Fisher would’ve responded to that. Those of you reading this already know the answer to that. Most likely something like: “I don’t know where you get your delusions, laser brain.”
Her passing is beyond the comprehension of devastating, there are no words to describe what we’re all feeling right now. She meant so much to so many, and possibly, too much. Her passing changes so much for all for us. But we must keep pushing forward and living life fearlessly as she did, keep doing what we love by taking chances that we’re scared to take. Thank you, Carrie Fisher, we will miss you.
I didn’t appreciate Princess Leia when I first “met” her in the spring of 1977. At age 14, I was much more intrigued by the dark, mysterious Darth Vader, and though I loved the spunky princess, her too-shiny lip gloss and lack of underwear disturbed me. How could an awkward teenager possibly measure up to the beautiful, feisty Leia? I know I didn’t, and I simply couldn’t relate.
The Force Awakens changed everything. For the first time, General Leia Organa reminded me of the person I see when I look in the mirror, a middle-aged woman with grown children, gray hair, and an average woman’s body. A woman who continually has hope for herself and her family. A woman, strong and valiant on her own but also capable of melting into the chest of the man she loves when she allows herself the opportunity. A flawed, human, tough-as-nails leader who is so intuitive to those around her that she felt when her former husband was killed.
From what I know of her, I could describe Carrie Fisher in many of the same ways, and never have I wanted to be more like her. Truly. This is the Princess, and the person, I will miss most. Smart, funny, talented, a fabulous writer…
It breaks my heart to think of Star Wars without her, not to mention her real, live family without her. I get the feeling, however, that she’d scoff at the tears we all shed and wish for us to celebrate her life, not revel in her death.
Sleep sweet, General Organa. You were well-loved.
Carrie Fisher was, by her own account, a deeply flawed human born into a tier of society that did not tolerate imperfection. In spite of this–or in large because of it–she was endeared and adored by those of us who looked at her and saw more than just the princess that strangled a giant space slug while wearing the tiniest of metal bikinis. Carrie eschewed the layers of fakeness that blanketed Hollywood, and through her witty writing and one-woman shows she strove to expose the facets of life in the filmmaking business that her peers elected to keep quiet. She did this with her own particular brand of comedy that appealed to the Star Wars nerfherders, the book lovers, and the Broadwayphiles.
Ms. Fisher had a quick wit and a sharp tongue, and she was unafraid to broadcast her style of eccentricity to anyone brave enough to watch her. My favorite Carrie Fisher moment came from last year as I was watching the live stream of the Celebration Anaheim opening ceremony, when she pulls a man on stage–a fan with whom she had no relationship–and makes out with him in front of a crowd of thousands. The lady had no boundaries.
This is a loss that shall be felt in all galaxies. We love you Carrie. The Force will be with you through the journey in which you now embark.
My first movie in the theaters was Star Wars in 1977. I was seven years old, and Princess Leia instantly became my beacon of hope. I was a very scared little girl in many ways, and Leia not only became my role model, but my compass for finding courage in the face of a storm of insecurities. Whether it was reaching for the next branch on the tree I was climbing, or trying out for a part in the school play, I would stop, close my eyes, breathe, and say “What would Leia do?” It became my personal mantra, and gave me the strength to take on anything. To me, Leia was everything I wanted to be: strong, witty, intelligent, a leader, respected, loyal…yet delicate and beautiful, with emotions that ran deep and true.
In real life, Carrie Fisher was so strong in so many ways. She dealt with many, many trials of her own. She faltered. She fell. She made some bad decisions. Despite everything, Carrie always found a way to persevere, never made excuses, and ended up helping countless others along the way. I always admired that, and will defend her strength and courage to anyone who dare criticize her.
I had the unexplainable honor of meeting Carrie at Star Wars Celebration IV in 2007, and was fortunate enough to see her there onstage during “A Conversation With Carrie Fisher,” her one-woman show. At the autograph table, Carrie was gracious and kind as she signed my photo, making me feel as though I were the only one in the room. She asked me questions and thanked me for coming. Thanked ME. No, Carrie…thank YOU.
One of my favorite Carrie Fisher quotes is this: “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”
Rest in glorious peace, Princess. You will be missed.
Enjoy this small gallery of select images of Carrie through the years:
Please feel free to leave your remembrances of Carrie Fisher in the comment section below. Let’s all celebrate her life and never forget the joy she brought to the world!Powered by Sidelines