Chloe Alverson ‘17: The beloved actress, Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars, passed away at the age of 60 on December 27th, 2016. All across the globe, many mourn the loss of the sci-fi idol. In her role as the princess, Fisher taught young girls that they don’t need “Prince Charming” to come save them, princesses can save themselves, and kick butt while doing so. It’s sad that the figure of a generation was lost, but as younger generations take interest in the new Star Wars films, Fisher’s iconic role as Princess Leia lives on.
“I like Princess Leia,” Fisher said on the radio talk show, Fresh Air. “I like how she handles things. I like how she treats people. She tells the truth. She, you know, gets what she wants done. I don’t have a real problem with Princess Leia. I’ve sort of melded with her over time.”
However, there was more to Fisher than just her space buns. Writing allowed Fisher to escape. As an author, Fisher published numerous books. In her 1987 novel, Postcards from the Edge, Fisher took a semi-autobiographical angle. The book reflected Fisher’s life, the main character partaking in drug use and having a rocky relationship with her mother. Other books followed, including Wishful Drinking (2008), Delusions of Grandma (1993), and, most recently, The Princess Diarist (2016).
Fisher famously battled drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and bipolar disorder. Open about her illness, Fisher became a huge advocate for mental health.
“I am mentally ill,” Fisher said to ABC News in 2016. “I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on.”
Her openness, as well as willingness to educate others on the issue, gave strength and inspiration to those who struggle with mental illnesses, by illustrating that even a life of a “princess” isn’t perfect.
“Carrie Fisher was a huge inspiration to many, especially to those who have mental illnesses because she combated hers and showed everyone that people with mental illnesses could be strong,” Caitlin Barrett ‘17 said.
Carrie Fisher is most commonly known from touching the lives of others through her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars. Regardless of the age, Fisher’s role and personal battles were relatable to all a vast amount of people. The strength and independence of Princess Leia will be an inspiration for years to come, as the Star Wars movies allow Fisher to live on. As an advocate for mental health, Fisher shows that we can find strength in our times of weakness. Fight on.