More Than a Princess: Carrie Fisher’s Legacy Beyond Star Wars


While Carrie Fisher will always be known as "Star Wars" heroine Princess Leia, the late actress' work extends well beyond saving galaxies far far away. Fisher was a published author, a playwright, and a script doctor, having written multiple works over the last 30 years. In addition to all of that, she was also a mother, a feminist, a humanitarian and a uniquely inspirational force in nerd fandom. Whether through her work as Princess Leia, being a writer, or as an always celebrated convention guest, Fisher touched countless lives overt the decades, all of whom have the spent the last day mourning her recent passing.

Well, now I'm crying #CarrieFisher pic.twitter.com/th2nl1xh9L

— Ruthanne Reid (@RuthanneReid) December 28, 2016

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Many fans also took to social media to praise the late actress, citing their favorite quotes of hers, sharing talk show and convention appearances and pulling out copies of her books to read. One book in particular went viral, "The Princess Diarist," which was only published a few weeks ago. Fisher's third published autobiography and her seventh published book, Fisher wrote the memoir based on journals she kept while filming the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

Princess Leia was one of my first on-screen heroes. Today I'm sad about Carrie Fisher's death, and I hope reading her newest book will give me a chance to learn more about her as a writer. @powellsbooks #ripcarriefisher? #maytheforcebewithyou #gonetoosoon

A photo posted by @semiprosaic on

Fisher's first and most well-known novel was "Postcards from the Edge." While technically fictional, "Postcards" featured an intensely difficult mother/daughter relationship, which drew inspiration from Fisher's own relationship with her mother, Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds, and her personal struggles with narcotics and mental health issues. Fisher adapted "Postcards from the Edge" into a screenplay, which launched her career as a script doctor, leading to her working on a series of major movies including "Hook," "Last Action Hero," "The River Wild," "Sister Act," "The Wedding Singer," "Lethal Weapon 3" and "Outbreak." She worked alongside notable directors like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, polishing dialogue for actors like Julia Roberts and Whoopie Goldberg.

Fisher was also a must-see guest at fan conventions. Her most recent major convention appearances included Star Wars Celebration 2015 in Anaheim, where she was promoting "Star Wars: Episode VII." She also had her own panel at Star Wars Celebration 2016 in London, aptly called "Carrie Fisher: The Princess Diaries." Fisher appeared with the cast of "Episode VII" at Comic-Con International 2015 for the Hall H panel and the outdoor concert.

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Fisher also made appearances at smaller conventions, like Wizard World and Stan Lee's Comikaze (now know as Los Angeles Comic Con.) Fisher would sign at these conventions for hours, often staying long past her scheduled time to accommodate the fans who came to see her. In addition to signing autographs and posing for photo ops with fans, Fisher would also glitter bomb people; you could always tell who just met her, because they would have a big grin on their face, their hair and eyes covered in glitter. You can see the Fisher-glitter effect in the image below, which was shared on the MidlifeCrisisCrossover blog.

Fisher was also a fearless champion of mental healthcare. Fisher openly dealt with mental illness, discussing it in her one-woman play and first autobiography "Wishful Drinking," as well as her second autobiography, "Shockaholic," which recounts her experiences with electroconvulsive therapy. Fisher openly battled bipolar disorder, chronic depression and drug addiction. In her column in The Guardian, she recently encouraged a reader who had reached out about being bi-polar: "Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic – not 'I survived living in Mosul during an attack' heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder. That’s why it’s important to find a community – however small – of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities."

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Editors of SyFyWire remembered the late actress yesterday, praising Fisher for being a role model for young women everywhere. Writer Michelle Villanueva shared, "This was a revelation to young me; there's strength in femininity. She struggled through addiction and mental illness and still came out the other side with such wonderful humor and wit and kindness." StarWars.com editors remembered her by saying, "With a smile, with a blaster, with a pen, Carrie Fisher was magic. She was a gifted actor and talented writer. She was an original. We at Lucasfilm will always consider her family. Our princess, our general. And we are heartbroken that she has left us."

For Carrie...Thank you for being such a strong role model for all of us. #CarrieFisher #ripcarriefisher pic.twitter.com/zAStMq0Gun

— Lord Mesa (@lordmesa) December 28, 2016

Over the course of her long and varied career, Fisher struggled through her personal issues like a champ. She is survived by her daughter, actress Billie Lourde, and her dog, Gary Fisher. Lourde appeared alongside her mother in "Star Wars: Episode VII." Both women are said to have expanded roles in "Star Wars: Episode VIII." Fisher's final movie credit of the year will is for "Rogue One," in which she made a brief appearance, and she will make her final "Star Wars" appearance in Dec. 2017's "Episode VIII." She will be greatly missed.

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