It was only a couple days ago I was watching Carrie Fisher in a Christmassy episode of the comedy-panel-quiz 8 Out of 10 Cats, and marvelling (once again) at how acerbic and awesome she was… funny, feisty, and full of life… so it was particularly shocking when the news of her heart-attack broke shortly after this triumphant TV appearance, followed by yesterday’s gutting announcement that she had died.
To be honest, I was never as obsessed with the Star Wars movies as many of my friends were/are, but I’ve always had a crush on ‘Princess Leia’, and remember owning several action figures of her in various get-ups (my favourite was her “Boushh Disguise” from Return Of The Jedi). I probably admired Fisher more as a raconteur and personality than as an actress, though she has appeared in several great movies and TV shows over the years, including Sex and the City, The Big Bang Theory, and a particularly memorable episode of 30 Rock. I often think of her scenes from that show when I’m sipping a “medicinal” glass of red wine… though obviously the line about it being “heart healthy” is going to rankle a little in future viewings.
Sadly, I’ve often seen Fisher’s books (fiction and non-fiction) in shops around town, and chosen not to buy them… but I intend to make more of an effort to read them from now on. I was also unaware that she had a successful side-line as a “script doctor”… even working for George Lucas on his 1992 series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and some of the dialogue for the Star Wars prequels! It’s really rather shameful that it’s taken her sudden demise to spur me into learning more about Fisher’s off-screen work, but better late than never… right…?
She was a wonderful writer. Her words were sharp and cutting, vulnerable and honest. When people ask me to recommend a good memoir writer, Fisher is one I often suggest.