Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher

Newsfeeds are clogged with headlines and eulogies regarding Carrie Fisher's death.

Some performers make a film famous while some films make a performer famous. She became famous, not because she was a great actress, but because she acted in a famous film (or franchise). Neither she nor Hamill had the starpower to sustain a career–unlike Ford. 

That said, making allowance for Lucas's juvenile sense of humor and  cliche-ridden situations, I thought she was good in The New Hope. There's only so much you can do with the sophomoric dialogue. 

She was miscast as a sex slave in Return of the Jedi. That's not something she can pull off. But then, that entire film was consistently abysmal. 

I don't recall her in The Empire Strikes Back, but that's because it was mainly about Luke Skywalker's inward and outward odyssey.

I see many people praising her for mitigating the stigma of mental illness by openly discussing her bouts of depression and bipolar disorder. 

That would be a significant contribution, if true. But is there any hard evidence that mental illness was widely stigmatized before she went public, destigmatized after she went public, and destigmatized due to her going public? Or is that just something people say to make her life seem more consequential? 

Finally, she predeceased her mother. That will be extremely hard on her mother. 


  1. I always liked her acerbic humor. She was the kind of person I like to hang out with. I don't have the same capacity to generate that kind of humor myself, but I'm drawn to people who do.

    Apparently she was agnostic. All too late for the certain knowledge of the truth that she has been grated at this hour past expiration to help her any. I'll miss her.

  2. Her scenes in TESB were chiefly built around the developing romance with Han Solo-the escape from the ice planet, the chase through the asteroids, the time spent in Bespin (culminating one of the most famous dialogue exchanges in the entire series--she announces her love for Solo just before he's lowered into the carbon freezing unit, and he responds with "I know."). The one significant departure from this is the early signaling (although it occurs nearly at the end of the film) of a special bond with Luke as she "hears" him calling to her via the Force after his fall/escape from Vader.

  3. "Finally, she predeceased her mother. That will be extremely hard on her mother."

    I didn't realize who her mother was until these evening. Apparently she was spared from suffering long without her daughter.

  4. A perfect case study of the mental, emotional, and relationship problems that result from crummy parents and a broken family. Mix in Hollywood, money, and drugs, you have a perfect storm that makes things even worse. She never had much of a chance to live a normal, fulfilling life.

  5. David's point is well made. Hollywood has a legion of stories just like Carrie Fisher. Yes we loved her and her now late mother, Debbie Reynolds. But how much more fulfilling a life she would have live with stable caring parents who were in a happy marriage. Fame and fortune are very tempting, but I would rather a safe and happy home over being feted and celebrated by Ellen and Oprah and have Ricky Gervais tweet his condolences when you're dead.