Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Carrie Fisher Tribute: Our Princess

I was working on my Rogue One review, but the news of Carrie Fisher's death has warranted a post about her. Where I realize that she is an accomplished author, screen writer and comedian, and mental health advocate, I'm choosing to focus on the role she's known best for: Princess Leia.    

When news broke last Saturday that she'd had a heart attack while flying to Los Angeles from London, I was stunned, and worried, as many people were.  Many people survive, and recover from heart attacks. Throughout the day, we began to hear that it wasn't simply a heart attack, but that she had to be resuscitated continually while waiting for the plane to land.  It started to become clear that she may not survive this. Memes, and twitter messages such as this popped up everywhere on social media throughout the Star Wars community.

Throughout the weekend I was hoping to hear something...anything about her condition.  News finally broke yesterday morning that she'd indeed passed away, and for the first time that I can remember, a celebrity death not only devastated me, but practically brought me to tears.  She was only 60 years old, but I'd be willing to bet that the many years she struggled with drugs, and bipolar disorder added to her early death.

As I sat on the couch, scrolling through Facebook while people continued to share the news, I wondered why this was hitting me so hard.  To be honest with you, I felt a little silly as I became choked up while talking about it with my husband.  There have been MANY celebrity deaths this year, and they never bothered me.  It was sad that they died, but it didn't effect any of my day to day activities. And then it hit me. MY princess, the face of a character I've loved and dedicated YEARS of my life to, was gone.  Star Wars is a HUGE part of my life.  I live and breath Star Wars.  I know the movies line by line (not the prequels), can debate them with the best of people, and LOVE getting into discussions about these fabulous movies! I've written many blog posts about this franchise.  30 Days of Star Wars  is a blog challenge I did, completely dedicated to this franchise. It explains my obsession with it perfectly! Princess Leia is on decorative plates that hang from one wall, on the wreaths that also hang from another wall. She is found many places inside my house.

Her passing would've been sad no matter when it happened, however, it hit harder because she was in the middle of completing the latest Star Wars trilogy.  She was back in the spotlight, and more popular than ever. Fans, like myself, waited DECADES for movies following our ORIGINAL heroes to be made. We never thought it would really happen, and the idea just fell away from the minds of all Star Wars fans. We were finally rewarded with The Force Awakens last year, and looking forward to episode 8 which will be released this coming December. Mark Hamill, the actor who plays Luke Skywalker, confirmed to us at Comic-Con last September that they had finished filming episode 8, so I know that she will have at least one posthumous appearance as the Princess.

The question on the minds of many fans, myself included, is, "What will they do with the character of Princess Leia now?"  We don't know how episode 8 ends, and it has been stated for years that the role was to be reprised for episode 9. So how do you handle this devastating loss? Well, you CAN NOT recast this role. No one except Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia. Case closed.  I have no doubt that there would be a massive outcry if they tried to fill her shoes with another actress.  Rogue One created a CGI version of a young Princess Leia who appeared at the very end of the movie. There were other CGI characters that looked wonderful, there was even one of a former Star Wars actor who passed away in 1994, and it worked very well. However, the CGI of Leia just didn't look right, in my opinion. I suppose they could try that route, but would it be too soon to try it? It's one thing to use CGI to recreate an actor who has been gone since 1994, and was only in 1 movie. It's completely different to try it with a central character. Sure, episode 9 won't come out until 2019, but this loss cuts deep.

Real Leia

CGI Leia

They may have to simply kill her character off-screen.  Where Princess (General) Leia's character was at the end of The Force Awakens, it was obvious she wasn't going to just get up and leave the Rebellion any time soon.  It's a very sad issue that the writers and the franchise now has to deal with.  Any time an actor dies during the production of a movie, it's tough.  Will they go back and make changes to the end of episode 8? Guess we will have to wait and see.  One thing is for sure; it's going to be very bitter sweet on December 15, 2017 when episode 8 opens. Knowing this is the last time we'll see her as Princess Leia, and the last we'll see Princess Leia at all...lets just say I'm betting it will be an emotional experience for many, maybe even myself.

Carrie Fisher was also known as someone who told it like it was and was very blunt...and hilarious at the same time.  Here's her roasting George Lucas a few years ago.  I dare you to watch this without laughing!!

And finally, I've spent hours looking for the right video for the end of this post.  I wanted one that had clips from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens.  I was also hoping to find a video that was set to the theme music for Princess Leia, that was written by John Williams.  I found that in this video.  Set to the song, "Leia's Theme", by John Williams, here is a fabulous tribute video.

I look forward to the arrival of this book.  Carrie Fisher was on her way back from London after doing a promotional tour for it.  I didn't realize it was all about a diary she recently found that she wrote while filming A New Hope. If the entire book is as good as the pages Amazon would allow me to read, I'm in for a lot of laughs!!  

    I couldn't have said it better if I tried  

As was said in The Force Awakens, "She will always be royalty to me".  We will miss you, Princess Leia. The Force will be with you...always.