Carrie Fisher passed away December 27, 2016, from a heart attack. The incident took place while she was travelling on a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles. Fisher was only 60 years old, and she left behind a daughter, Billie Lourd, who is also an actress.
Fisher’s career spanned over many years and it encompassed quite a range of jobs. She was an actress, an accomplished writer and an outspoken advocate for mental health (Fisher, herself, was very outspoken about her struggles with bipolar disorder). But she will always be remembered as the tough and intelligent Princess Leia from the Star Wars universe.
Since 1977, Fisher appeared in five Star Wars films to reprise her iconic role. But in spite of the success that it brought her, and the millions of fans who hold her as an eternal heroine in their hearts, her relationship with the role was complicated and often it seemed like she was still struggling to define how she felt about it.
During a 2008 interview with TODAY, Fisher said that she would not have agreed to become Princess Leia if she had known the movies were going to be that big. She said that at the height of her popularity, she was just “waiting for it to end.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Carrie had a more positive perspective on her role as Princess Leia, which she shared during an interview with Web MD. The interview, which focused on Fisher’s experiences with bipolar disorder and addiction, lightly touched on the subject of Princess Leia when they asked: “Was it tough to get past the infinite space of Star Wars?”
With her signature dry humor, Fisher replied that she had never gotten past it to begin with. “I am Princess Leia, no matter what,” she said. “If I were trying to get a good table, I wouldn’t say I wrote Postcards. Or, if I’m trying to get someone to take my check and I don’t have ID, I wouldn’t say: “Have you seen Harry Met Sally?”
She then ended her reflection with a bittersweet realization, one that resonates as a specially sad one this week: “Princess Leia will be on my tombstone.” Fans will be glad to hear that at the end of her career, Fisher seemed to be more at peace with her role as Princess Leia.