Carrie Fisher (1956–2016)
“Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
I’m sure by now we’re all just sick and tired about reading about these celebrity deaths; a slew of actors, musicians, athletes and pioneers of science have sadly passed away in what seems like record number this past year. Maybe that’s true or not, but whatever, each one makes us reflect on what that celebrity meant to us or what their roles or artistic endeavors meant to us. It feels, to me, like we lost a great deal of “geek” or “cult” status people. David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman and now Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher.
Like a lot of fanboys of my generation we all grew up infatuated with Carrie Fisher. She was unabashedly our first crush. She was adorably cute and incredibly strong. Han and Luke didn’t save her; she saved them. I knew this even as a young kid. I don’t know if this helps my feminist cred or not but I never saw Princess Leia as just a damsel in distress in 1977’s A New Hope. She had a surly resolve and a tough disposition that was the perfect foil to Han Solo. First she stands up to Darth Vader and lies straight to his face. Later on she not only shows little fear for a torture bot but beats the interrogation. And then she lies again to Grand Moff Tarkin about where the rebel base is and is then basically responsible for her whole planet getting annihilated. Even then really doesn’t show much weakness. No tears or broken spirit. The next scene we see her she’s insulting Luke Skywalker for being too short. I mean, that’s an incredibly strong individual. All through the rest of the film she fights and takes no shit. She fires the blasters and actually hits her stormtropper targets. Then after all the shit she has been through racing and fighting around the Death Star, when all is calm the first thing she does is console Luke when he’s mopey about the death of Obi-Wan. She was sassy, nurturing, highly-intelligent and a natural-born leader. And that’s how I always see Carrie Fisher.
So I’m proud to say, that she was my first crush. I always liked to see her in her little non-Star Wars roles like When Harry Met Sally, The ‘burbs and even one of my guilty pleasure flicks as a kid, Under the Rainbow. I was just reminded that she was the therapist in the first Austin Powers movie. I don’t think that I’ve seen too many of the movies she doctored the scripts for but as most other articles about her untimely passing will tell you, they are really good. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m very upset that she won’t be able to finish as Princess Leia in Episode IX. I don’t know what they had in store for her in Episode VIII but I was hoping she managed to win the day for the
rebellion resistance once again. Shit, I felt let-down a little bit that she wasn’t as stronger in the Force in The Force Awakens. General Leia, wielding a lightsaber would’ve been the icing on the cake for such an incredibly strong woman in the franchise.
But Carrie Fisher will be surely missed, not just because she was in a billion-dollar mega-franchise and wore a very sexy gold bikini that still makes all the fanboys drool. No, I’, going to miss her for her wit and take-no-shit, speak-her-mind attitude. For her fearlessness in an industry and country of sexism and unfairness. She was robbed of many years of greatness whether it was behind the camera or on the bookshelves or even giving hope to millions of young and old woman that they matter a lot too and also to the millions of people coping with mental disease, to which Fisher was also a hardened veteran fighter of.
Damnit, the more I think about her, the more I will miss her. Goodbye Carrie, may the Force be with you.
Debbie Reynolds (1932-2016)
“Singin’ in the Rain and childbirth were the two hardest things I ever had to do in my life.”
And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Tribute must also be given to Carrie Fisher’s multitalented mom, Debbie Reynolds, who eerily died of a broken heart a day after Carrie’s untimely passing.
I have a lot of catching up to do with regards to Reynold’s film career having only seen one or two of her features. I haven’t even seen all of Singin’ in the Rain, I sadly regret to admit. The first movie I saw Debbie Reynolds in was Albert Brooks’ Mother where she appropriately played his over-bearing and annoyingly sweet mother. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her hilarious performance. It would be wrong of me to say much on her career or how much I liked her based on what little I’ve seen but what I did see was a very sweet and talented woman and wish I did know more of her works. Reading the little biographies of her, I can tell you that she was one-of-a-kind and a very hard worker back in the golden era of Hollywood. Just reading that she wasn’t a trained dancer by the time she was cast in Singin’ in the Rain, she not only had to learn to be a decent dancer but actually literally bled for her performance and had to endure harsh insults from co-star Gene Kelly. So it’s no wonder that she’s quoted saying that “Singin’ in the Rain and childbirth were the two hardest things I ever had to do in my life.”
She too will be surely missed.