Farewell, Princess.

Today, Carrie Fisher’s daughter released a statement via People stating that her mother had passed away aged 60 following a heart attack on a flight home to LA on 23rd December. At the end of a very long year filled with many deaths of beloved celebrities, this is one which will touch the hearts of many generations of people from all walks of life. From long-time followers to people who were helped by her candid and honest accounts of mental illness to brand new fans brought on board by last year’s The Force Awakens, Carrie’s death will certainly be a tough one to swallow.

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She was undeniably most well-known for her role as Princess (now General) Leia in Star Wars, badassing her way through the otherwise male-dominated franchise and demanding to be seen and heard. She captured the imagination of millions as the strong, fiesty Leia, but that role was just the tip of the iceberg that was her life.

Carrie was an incredible talent had a rich and varied career as an actress, author, playwright, public speaker and producer. She penned several novels and biographical works including Postcards from the Edge (1987), Wishful Drinking (2008) and her most recent, The Princess Diarist (2016), and also acted as an advocate for mental health. Her openness, honesty and candid sharing of her own experiences with bipolar disorder and drug addiction has helped significantly over the years towards destigmatising mental health and addiction. She canonised her 1985 overdose in the form of the aforementioned novel Postcards from the Edge, which she went on to produce in film in 1990. She never filtered herself in these discussions; she held up her own battles as beacons from others to learn from. As she once said in an interview with Diane Sawyer on PrimeTime Thursday“better me than you”. On top of all of that, she was fabulously shrewd at calling out sexism and questioning inequalities throughout her career.

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Whilst her professional accolades are many and her life has been filled with turbulence, it seems that what people will remember the most about this incredible woman is her wit, her vivacity, her willingness to help others learn from her own experience, and her absolute lack of fucks to give when it came to expectations. Many of those who loved her and have been touched by her over the years expressed their grief and their fond memories of her humour over Twitter, including on-screen brother and close friend Mark Hamill.

Carrie Fisher will be missed deeply. She was powerful, unapologetic and outspoken, and our galaxy has lost a little more of its lustre with her passing.

-L

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