The news that Carrie Fisher had had a heart attack on board her LA-bound flight on 23 Dec was a shock to all Star Wars fans. I’m sure, like me, you thought and hoped that she had received attention quickly enough that we weren’t going to add her name to the long list of sad losses from 2016.
That she died just 4 days later was a real blow, and the outpouring of love from across the globe has been incredible. It’s striking that the love is not just for the memories of her as a young heroine in the Star Wars films, but also for the woman who went through so much, but came out smiling, joking and willing to talk about here battles with abuse and mental health problems
Her life was defined by Star Wars and she certainly had no idea what effect that “little sci-fi movie” would have on the rest of her life when she auditioned. This video shows her audition for the part of Princess leia and you can tell immediately that she was good for the part.
After Star Wars she continued to star in films but never hit the same heights for any other roles. Star Wars was what created the Carrie Fisher we’re familiar with. Had she not been in it I’m sure she would have been a successful actress but her life would have taken a very different route.
It’s a little early to turn our thoughts to the final 2 episodes of the Star Wars “main series”, but inevitably fans are beginning to wonder what will happen to Leia now that Carrie is no longer with us. Reports tell us that she already finished shooting for her part in Episode VIII, but unless that involved Leia’s death then there’s going to have to be a rewrite for Episode IX. That is, unless the film-makers can work some magic.
Is there is enough footage of Carrie from the her role in episodes VII and VIII to bring Leia’s story to a conclusion in Episode IX? Might they use some footage of Carrie and add some CGI wizardry to augment it as they did for Peter Cushing?
It might seem too soon to consider that. After all, Peter Cushing had been dead for 20 years before he was brought back to the screen. But it was done with Oliver Reed in Gladiator shortly after his death.
The story of Star Wars is the story of the Skywalkers; Anakin, Luke and Leia and I’m sure Leia’s story will be told one way or another.