The most breathtaking moment in the new trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer doesn’t involve explosions or lightsabers or ominous references to the Dark Side. It’s an eyeblink-long shot of Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, in the embrace of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo. It’s a moment of a weary-looking woman with graying hair and lines on her face. Holy science fiction, Hollywood — somewhere, in a galaxy far, far away, a grown woman has been given permission to look like a grown woman. I want to go to that planet!
Fisher, who turns 59 this week, has for years been a sardonic and brutally honest chronicler of her own struggles with addiction, bipolar disorder (including a hospitalization just two years ago), and weight — all while working in an industry that isn’t known for being easy on even seemingly perfect women. A few years ago, when the vicious cracks about Fisher resembling Jabba the Hut (actual sexist BS trolling entertainment story) were hitting peak cruelty, she became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.
But even as she dropped fifty pounds — and seemed to hint at some other changes when she said of her fellow “Star Wars” cast members that “We all look a little melted. It’s good to see other melted people” — she’s maintained her sense of humor and realism. As she observed a few years ago, “I swear when I was shooting those films I never realized I was signing an invisible contract to stay looking the exact same way for the rest of my existence.”