Carrie Fisher: Her Legacy

Isabelle Samudio, Reporter

The year 2016 will be infamously known for its celebrity deaths, as this year many famous and iconic figures passed away. Even when the year was on its last legs, it still sought out to take its last few victims. ‘May the Force be with her’ has been a solemn statement the final days of 2016.

Carrie Fisher is most well-known for her role as Princess (or General) Leia in the Star Wars movies. However, she is much, much more than just the actress of an iconic space princess. Many were not aware that she was a phenomenal writer. She published multiple books; only after her death did these books get the recognition they deserve, and a gratuitous amount of people buying copies. One book is a memoir called The Princess Diarist, which goes into detail about her life after being in the role of Princess Leia; it’s a very thought-provoking, humorous, emotional, and well-written anecdote.

Another somewhat hidden fact about her deals with her mental illness. In 2001 she talked publicly about her disorder on multiple television series. It wasn’t common knowledge to the public that she was bipolar until the The Force Awakens press tour when she walked with a little dog in tow. The small French Bulldog named Gary was her service dog or emotional support animal, who’s become a celebrity in his own right. The puppy’s appearance, Fisher’s open nature, and the fact she took the dog everywhere, made it so everyone was aware of her disorder. Gary has a cute Twitter, which posted heartbreaking comments after Fisher’s death, saying “I’ll be waiting for you…”, “Mommy is gone. I love you [Carrie Fisher]”, and “I was always by your side but best of all you were always by mine”.

Fisher was an inspiration due to how open she was with her illness. In 2016, she received the Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism for her “outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism [which] have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy”. Many who shared this disorder with her lament her passing, saying how inspirational and important she was to them. Seeing an unashamedly mentally ill lady able to be successful and recognized as both an iconic character and amazing woman was very uplifting. And now they aim to shape their lives in memory of her and live how she would’ve wanted them to.

Tragically, not only did we lose the amazing Carrie Fisher we lost her mother too, the famous actress Debbie Reynolds (known especially for Singin’ in the Rain). She died only a day after her daughter, with her son Todd Fisher stating her final sentiments: “she went to be with Carrie”.