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Carrie Fisher: Actor, writer and smasher of the patriarchy

Wednesday 28th December 2016

We pay our respects.

Many people will remember Carrie Fisher as a gold bikini clad slave held hostage by Jabba the Hutt - the fat, stinking turd emoji in Return of the Jedi. 

But Fisher’s Princess Leia was no damsel in distress - she strangled him with a chain, escaped, and helped destroy the death star. 

The beloved actor died overnight, aged 60, after drowning in moonlight, strangled by her own bra. 

At least that’s how she wanted her death reported, she wrote in her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking

The truth is, she suffered a heart attack and later died in hospital

Fisher was badass. She was real. She spoke openly about her own drug and alcohol addiction, bipolar disorder, love of LSD and the shock treatment she received. She went to rehab aged 23, and again at 29. 

In Wishful Drinking, she joked that an $800 lifesize Princess Leia sex doll had its uses: “If anyone ever screams out ‘go fuck yourself Carrie,’ I can give it a whirl.”

She had a therapy dog called Gary Fisher

She smoked a blue e-cigarette, and tweeted in a weird emoji languageShe had a going away party for her 50s. 

She was an outspoken mental health advocate, candid about her struggle with bipolar disorder. She took no shit from no one. 

When rumours that Disney would discontinue the Leia slave outfit began circulating, Fisher told the Daily Beast: “There was this thing on Fox News about this father not being able to explain to his daughter what the outfit was. 

“What? That my character was forced to put on that outfit against my will, and I took it off as soon as I could kill the guy who picked out the outfit? I had so much fun killing [Jabba]. They asked me if I wanted my stunt double to kill him, but I wanted to. I sawed his neck off with that chain. I really wanted to kill him.” 

Fisher owned the character of Princess Leia. She was a powerful and sassy boss who knew what was up.  

“I got to be the only girl in an all boy fantasy, and it’s a great role for women,” she told CBC.

“[Leia is] a very proactive character and gets the job done. So if you’re going to get typecast as something, that might as well be it for me.”  

Today, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy wrote that Fisher created an icon as Leia. 

“The term 'strong female character' is thrown around a lot today in pop culture, but Carrie designed the blueprint.” 

Though best known for her role in the Star Wars franchise, Fisher also appeared in The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally. She wrote four novels and three memoirs - with the latest, The Princess Diarist, released this year. 

Fisher was born in 1956 to celebrity parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher

She married singer Paul Simon in 1983. The pair had been in a relationship for five years, but they divorced just a year after tying the knot.

She battled with drugs and alcohol and she was rushed to hospital in 1985 after accidentally taking an overdose of sleeping pills and prescription drugs.

Fisher had a three-year relationship with talent agent Bryan Lourd (who she joked about turning gay after he left her for a man), and the pair have a daughter, Billie Lourd.

Today, Fisher's mother thanked her fans for embracing the “gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter.” 

“I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop.” 

And wherever that may be, Fisher will be safe in the knowledge that somewhere out there she will forever remain 24, enslaved, and ready to strangle a disgusting giant turd emoji with a chain. 

 

- Additional reporting BBC.



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Susan Strongman is an Auckland-based journalist at The Wireless. She is interested in social issues, human rights and people, but likes to spend her spare time with her cats.
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