Mark Hamill’s Carrie Fisher Tribute: “Making Her Laugh Was a Badge of Honor”
Carrie and I occupied a unique area in each other’s lives. It was like we were in a garage band together that somehow hit it huge. We had no idea the impact Star Wars would have on the world. I remember we were out on tour right before the movie opened. By the time we got to Chicago, there was a crowd at the airport. I said, ‘Hey look, you guys, there must be somebody famous on the plane.“ I was looking around to see who it might be. And then in the crowd I saw a kid dressed in a Han Solo vest. Then I saw girl dressed like Princess Leia. I said, "Oh my God, look, Carrie, there’s somebody dressed just like you. She’s got the buns on her head!” The first time I met Carrie was at dinner in London before we started filming together. I had been the first one to go over to Africa with Sir Alec Guinness and the robots, to do all the desert planet stuff, then I came back to London and then Harrison Ford came over. Carrie was the last piece in the puzzle to come to London. So I said to the production office, “I’d like to meet her before we work together.” They worked out that we’d meet for dinner. You know, she was 19 years old at the time. I was a worldly 24. So I was thinking, “Oh my God, it’ll be like working with a high school kid.” But I was just bowled over. I mean she was just so instantly ingratiating and funny and outspoken. She had a way of just being so brutally candid. I’d just met her but it was like talking to a person you’d known for ten years. She was telling me stuff about her stepfather, about her mom, about Eddie Fisher - it was just harrowing in its detail. I kept thinking, “Should I know this?” I mean, I wouldn’t have shared that with somebody that I had trusted for years and years and years. But she was the opposite. She just sucked you into her world.
I was so middle class. Growing up, the closest thing to a celebrity we had was our next door neighbor, who was a baggage handler who returned Jerry Lewis’ wallet that fell on the tarmac in San Diego. But Carrie was something completely different. She dropped out of high school to be in the chorus of “Irene” on Broadway. I was just in awe of her.
She was so committed to joy and fun and embracing life. She had an Auntie Mame quality to her. I would do crazy things to amuse her on the set. Making her laugh was always a badge of honor. I remember during Empire we were split up storywise; it was a difficult film to shot and there was a lot of tension on the set. I was off in the swampland with the puppets and robots, but at least Carrie and Harrison got to work with human beings. Once at lunchtime she said, “You should try on my jumpsuit.” I said, “The one-piece white jumpsuit? You’re what, 5'2”? I’ll never get in!“ She said, "Just try.” I put on that Princess Leia zipper jump suit and it was so tight I looked like a Vegas lounge singer. If that wasn’t ridiculous enough, she had me put on one of those bald cap masks with the Bozo hair and glasses and nose and then she walked me around the back lot. The lengths I would go to hear her laugh - there were no limits. I loved her and loved making her laugh. She would do these crazy things and make me do these crazy things, but I really don’t think they were crazy after all. In a way, it was a defense mechanism for her. She was so off the wall, she could use it as protection. Part of what was so poignant about her was that she was vulnerable, that there was this glimmer of a little girl that was so appealing and it roused the protective nature in my personality.
I’m grateful that we stayed friends and got to have this second act with the new movies. I think it was reassuring to her that I was there, the same person, that she could trust me, as critical as we could sometimes be with each other. We ran the gamut over the years, where we were in love with each other, where we hated each other’s guts. “I’m not speaking to you, you’re such a judgmental, royal brat!” We went through it all. It’s like we were a family. When you were in her good graces, you couldn’t have more fun with any person on the planet. She was able to make you feel like you were the most important thing in her life. I think that’s a really rare quality. And then you could go 180 degrees opposite, where you were furious with one another and wouldn’t speak for weeks and weeks. But that’s all part of what makes a relationship complete. It’s not all one sided. Like I say, she was a handful. She was high maintenance. But my life would have been so much drabber and less interesting if she hadn’t been the friend that she was.
I am still frustrated. I am still unsure. There are still questions that don’t have answers… may NEVER have answers…
I do wonder if the reset of the premiere in September had anything to do with these latest antics. Recall things were ramping up to look pretty good until that announcement… and then boom we get IFH 2.0, The night the Lights went Out in Georgia, and the return of Shipper Hater from a Galaxy far far away… perhaps a few stall tactics were necessary to push out any kind of outing of a relationship until it can be used to sell s3.
Those things make me seriously go hmmm… but I am not ready to try to start concocting conspiracy theories at this point because I am tired still. Serious tired. I am sure Sam and Cait are too and I hope some day we get answers to the mysteries. I do hope from this point forward that we see respect shown by THEM to their supposed SO’s. I.E… don’t treat them like doormats folks… thank them at award shows… smile in their presence… gasp… introduce them?? I know. Crazy. But if these really are important people in your life then say so. You don’t have to tell us their social security numbers but acknowledge them for cripes sake and then say you don’t want to speak about it again. If they are just your friends, well then fine and dandy… but stop using and abusing them. They are not the solution to keeping the trolls at bay.
For now though it looks like I am watching the ship from the shore… at least for the time being. I will certainly be here watching closely with my binoculars… and I am sure (if history is any judge) that they will find a way to suck me back into the vortex of this crazy ride.
But for now I am still frustrated, still puzzled, but maybe just a little less so day by day.
I am looking for the return of the people I saw years ago…. Maybe they were never there in the first place, maybe they were a figment of my imagination… a mirage of sorts… but my gut tells me there is more to the story still. So I wait, and watch… for the ship to come in.
Things I love about the original Star Wars trilogy:
I love the beginning. I love that first moment of anticipation in the blue letters of “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” I love the explosion of music and excitement and adrenaline as the opening crawl begins, the immediate sensation that you have flown headfirst into something incredible. I love reading that Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy and that it is a dark time for the rebellion and that Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Tatooine in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt
I love Luke’s journey. I love how at first glance he’s just an ordinary farm boy who dreams of a bigger destiny but who has to help his aunt and uncle, stuck on a barren planet he fears he’ll never get off of. I love his pain and his devastation when he loses his home even though he always wanted to leave it. I love how he gets caught up in a whirlwind adventure because of the arrival of two droids. I love how he’s brave and true and loyal. I love that a simple farm boy becomes a hero, that he rescues Leia and destroys the Death Star and joins the rebellion. I love how he’d do anything to help his friends, how he leaves Dagobah to save Han and Leia and how he goes to get Han from Tatooine. I love how he always idolized his father, how his jedi training was centered around the desire to follow in Anakin Skywalker’s footsteps, and I love his conflict when he learns the truth. I love that he won’t kill Vader even knowing the evil he’s committed and his determination to save the man he once was. I love that the greater destiny he always wanted comes to a fork in the road, and that he stands at the precipice of two fates: is he doomed by the legacy of his blood, or can he forge his own path? I love that he strays to the very edge of the Dark side, and I love that Luke Skywalker does not fall. I love when he says, “I am a jedi, like my father before me.” I love that the Light in him prevails.
I love Leia. I love that she’s a princess AND and a spy AND a rebel soldier. I love her cinnamon bun hair. I love that she stands toe to toe with the most feared man in the galaxy and doesn’t cower. I love that she’s so strong that she can withstand Vader’s torture and that she takes control of her own rescue. I love how she can shoot a blaster and command troops and fly the Falcon. I love that she doesn’t even abandon her post on Hoth when the Empire is on their doorstep and the command center is under fire and she’s supposed to already be on her transport. I love that she’s dedicated to bringing peace to the galaxy. I love that even though she seems tough as nails, she still feels and hurts and fears and cries and that her strength doesn’t come at the price of her humanity. I love that she doesn’t ever stop fighting–not when her ship is captured, not when she’s taken prisoner, not when her planet is destroyed, not when the man she loves is taken, and not when she’s shot on the battlefield. I love that she’s Luke’s sister. I love that it’s her message that brings him into the story. I love that brother and sister separated at birth are drawn together by destiny, and I love that she’s just as nuanced as he is, that their paths and experiences are balanced–that he must cope with the knowledge that the father he idolized is a monster, while she must deal with the revelation that the monster she hated is her father. I love that she is an Organa and a Skywalker. I love when she learns who she is. I love that she has the Force. I love, “That boy is our last hope.” “No, there is another.” I love, “You’re wrong, Leia. You have that power, too.”
I love that Han is just a smuggler and a rogue who wants nothing to do with the rebellion or the Force or the fight for the galaxy, but he takes a job transporting passengers to Alderaan and gets swept up in the whole mess. I love how he’s not the selfless mercenary that he seems to be. I love how he claims to care about only money, but then he turns around to help the rebels at Yavin. I love that he has a conscience. I love that he can’t help but get attached to the dumb kid he picked up in Mos Eisley and the haughty princess who insulted him the second they met. I love that he volunteers to go out into the freezing conditions on Hoth without a second thought because his friend’s out in it. I love that he gets his clearance to leave but he won’t get out of danger when he knows that stubborn, crazy Leia isn’t safe yet. I love how he’s so smart and daring and can fly through an asteroid field and that he escapes from the Empire by hiding on a Star Destroyer right under the enemy’s nose and drifting off with the trash. I love, “Never tell me the odds.” I love that he doesn’t even think of himself when he’s about to be frozen in carbonite. I love how that smuggler that “ain’t in it for your revolution” becomes a general in the rebellion who would sacrifice his life for his friends. I love that Han doesn’t have the Force. I love that he’s just a regular person with an enormous heart that he pretends not to have who gets through thanks to his cunning and his stubbornness and his courage. I love that he’s a good man.
I love that a princess and a scoundrel find true love. I love the way they bicker and fight and drive each other crazy. I love how Han calls Leia ridiculous names like “Your Worship” and “Your Highnessness” and I love how Leia gives it right back to him. I love that neither of them are willing to admit how they feel. I love that they’re both afraid. I love the angst because Han has to leave and Leia doesn’t want to give her heart away to a man who’s going to take off, and I love that Han doesn’t want her to get hurt because of him and the bounty on his head. I love “Do you think a princess and a guy like me…?” I love when they finally kiss on the Millennium Falcon. I love that Han would do anything to protect her. I love that he tells Chewie to take care of her when he knows he’s probably going to die. I love their desperate embrace in front of Vader and Boba Fett and all the stormtroopers. I love that Leia leaves the rebel alliance to go rescue him. I love that Han was willing to step aside for her to be with Luke when he thinks that would make her happy. I love that they’re equals–that they’re both strong and smart and independent. I love that they have each other’s backs in battle. I love that they bring out the best in each other. I love “I love you.” “I know.”
I love that the Millennium Falcon is the fastest ship in the galaxy. I love how much Han loves it. I love that there’s always something wrong with it and that Han and Chewie are always having to repair something. I love when Luke calls it a piece of junk and I love that Leia is always insulting it and I love that it becomes a part of them just like it’s a part of Han and because Han becomes a part of them. I love when it jumps to lightspeed. I love the cockpit and when they’re all in it. I love the gun turrets and the holochess table and the smuggling compartments and the circuitry bay. I love the blue light of the hyperdrive. I love what the Millennium Falcon represents.
I love the medal ceremony on Yavin. I love Luke’s yellow jacket and Han’s confident swagger and the look on Leia’s face when they march down the aisle. I love the music and the feeling of triumph. I love that Threepio and Artoo are there and that our sassy not-so-damsel-in-distress princess is rewarding the farm boy and the smuggler and the Wookiee for their bravery and their victory. I love how all of our heroes are together and how it cements the bond that has been forged between all of them. I love this ending to our first chapter.
I love the rebels and their hidden bases and their ragtag fighters. I love Rogue Squadron. I love the call signs. I love X-wings and space battles. I love watching them take down AT-ATs and AT-STs and TIE fighters and Death Stars. I love that the underdogs win. I love the look on Leia’s face when they hear Han and Chewie come back to cover Luke so he can destroy the first Death Star and I love General Rieekan shaking Han’s hand and the corridors of Echo Base and I love Admiral Ackbar saying “It’s a trap!” and that Mon Mothma is the leader of it all.
I love Dagobah. I love Luke training with Yoda. I love watching him learn to use the Force. I love seeing his vision in the cave, and the foreshadowing that his face in Vader’s helmet represents–that not only is Vader his father, but that this is what Luke will become if he falls to the Dark Side, as well. I love when Yoda lifts the x-wing out of the swamp. I love “Wars do not make one great” and “Do or do not. There is no try” and “Luminous beings are we.” I love that there’s mist and snakes everywhere. I love Yoda making Luke run around with him on his back. I love levitating Artoo and rocks and one-handed handstands. I love when Luke goes back in Episode VI and learns that he’s done with his training but that he must defeat Vader; confirms that Vader is his father then learns that Leia is his sister. I love how much he’s changed between when he first crash lands in the mud and when he leaves there for the last time. I love the mantle of responsibility that he must take upon his shoulders.
I love how Lando was in a tough position and tries to redeem himself by rescuing Han from Jabba’s. I love how Chewie is referred to as “The Mighty Chewbacca.” I love that tiny little Leia is disguised as the bounty hunter who theoretically took the enormous Wookiee down. I love “Someone who loves you,” and how Han reacts to the sound of her voice. I love Chewie running to hug Han in their cell. I love “Together again, huh?” “Wouldn’t miss it.” “How are we doing?” “Same as always.” “That bad, huh?” I love that Leia frees herself and strangles the vile scum who forced her into that degrading outfit and chained her to his throne like an animal or a decoration. I love seeing Luke’s green lightsaber in action for the first time. I love “Don’t forget the droids.” I love the relief.
I love the scene in the trash compactor and how all of them keep yelling at each other. I love when Han keeps shouting at Leia to get on top of it. I love when Threepio thinks they’re dying. I love that Han and Leia hug.
I love when Leia hears Luke call to her through the Force. I love when she makes Chewie turn the Falcon around to go get him. I love the ending of ESB, and how even in the wake of such turmoil–Han frozen and taken by Boba Fett and Luke losing his hand and his lightsaber and learning that Vader is his father and Leia losing the man she loves–it still leaves you with hope and determination. I love when Luke and Leia watch Lando and Chewie fly off in the Falcon. I love Lando promising her that they’d find Han. I love the final image of the rebel fleet and the crescendo of music and those final chills before the credits roll.
I love that the Emperor underestimates love. I love the battle between Luke and Darth Vader. I love that the moment Vader says, “So, you have a twin sister? … If you will not turn to the Dark Side, perhaps she will,” is the moment when Luke unleashes his fury. I love when Luke refuses to kill his father. I love when Vader refuses to let his son die. I love that Luke refused to give up on Anakin, and I love that Anakin Skywalker’s two final requests are to look upon his son with his own eyes and for his daughter to be told that Luke had been right about their father all along–that even after everything he’d done, there had still been good in him. I love that Leia can sense Luke’s survival. I love that Luke build’s his father a funeral pyre. I love the Skywalker legacy.
And I love the end. I love the final scene of the trilogy. I love where it leaves us. I love that our heroes have survived. I love that they bled and fought and sacrificed and cried and feared and hoped and that they come through it all. I love that they win despite the odds. I love that even though the war was long and hard and that all that evil and injustice seemed impossible to ever defeat, they do it. I love Luke and Leia hugging–brother and sister who loved each other even before they knew the truth, who’d been brought back together by fate and who together were the hope for the galaxy. I love that they found each other. I love when Han and Luke embrace like brothers, and the look of understanding as they grip arms and look into each other’s faces. I love their friendship–that what started as hiring a pilot in a seedy cantina has become this absolute, binding trust. I love the tenderness on Han’s face as he holds Leia to his chest, and the happiness and devotion on hers as she closes her eyes and smiles. I love that their love endured every conflict. I love that all three of them all got tossed together against their will and found belonging in each other. I love that last shot. I love Luke and Leia and Han and Chewie and Lando and Threepio and Artoo all together, smiling and victorious. I love that they’re family. I love that the story is one where hope can pay off. Where good can overcome evil. Where somewhere in a galaxy far, far away, a band of misfits–planetless princesses and smugglers with Wookiee first mates and starry-eyed youths from the middle of nowhere–can fight against adversity and win. I love the feeling in my chest that last second on Endor, knowing that those characters and what they believed in prevailed. I love Star Wars.
In A Different Life… Padmé Amidala enjoying a short vacation at Varykino with Anakin Skywalker Zuhair Murad, Couture Spring 2011
In a galaxy far, far away but in a different life… Anakin Skywalker’s decision not to join Jedi after the Battle of Naboo, rather he returns to Tatooine to free his mother and friends. Years later Padmé Amidala is sure that a relationship between a Space Pirate turned Republic Privateer is far more complicated then Holonet reports it to be. In fact she is sure the Holonet only makes it even more complicated for the both of them. Luckily the two of the can retreat to Lake Country on Naboo or even Tatooine when they want some privacy.
“That Anakin had built C-3P0 from spare parts was not known when the original trilogy was first released. But the events in The Phantom Menace suggested new possibilities for a moment on Cloud City that was not revealed in The Empire Strikes Back.” -Star Wars, Panel to Panel, pp. 68-69
A digital portrait of the dearly-missed Carrie Fisher.
I first heard the news that Carrie Fisher had been taken ill after coming out of the cinema, having seen Rogue One. Like many, I hoped she would pull through, but sadly it wasn’t to be. I read the sad news that she had passed away on my break at work. And just like any Star Wars fan, I felt a tremendous sense of loss as one of the women I grew up watching on screen had left us to return to that galaxy far, far away.
We lost in Carrie an actress, author, wit, mental health advocate, princess, general, and a true pop culture icon.
Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise, centered on a film series created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of various characters "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away". The first film in the series, Star Wars (later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope), was released on May 25, 1977 by 20th Century Fox and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. It was followed by the similarly successful sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983); these three films constitute the original Star Wars trilogy. A prequel trilogy was later released between 1999 and 2005, which received a more mixed reaction from critics and fans, compared to the original trilogy. All seven films were nominated for or won Academy Awards, and were commercial successes, with a combined box office revenue of $4.38 billion, making Star Wars the fourth highest-grossing film series. Th
Ice Planet Barbarians, the first of a series by Ruby Dixon that I discovered last January on Good Reads. Last January for me was Ice Planet Barbarian Month and a very good month it was for reading sweet and sexy in space. For reasons I could not tell you, my brain decided to devote February to science fiction romances. I am not complaining. So I returned to planet Not- Hoth, in a galaxy far far away.
So the story starts with Georgie waking up in a hold of an alien space ship with a bunch of other twenty two year old females. It is bad. They have to poop in a pot. The food is terrible. They upset the guards, the guards will rape them. Life sucks. Then the ship suffers some sort of problem and dumps the cargo on a icy planet shortly after Georgie goes bad ass leader. Georgie goes out into the wasteland to try to find help in a the clothes of a dead evil alien. ((All the females were stolen from their beds)) Georgie eventually ends up in a trap. Who’s trap? It’s our hero’s,
Vektal who is really big, blue with horns and tail and knows Georgie is the one for him. ((Because of a parasite but I will not explain more here))
Overall I love this book. This book has many many smutty parts but they are not ugly, our hero and heroine are super into each other. Our barbarian could have been a giant primitive ass hat (Me Male. You Female. You listen to me)) instead Ruby Dixon gave us a giant sweetheart who wants only Georgie’s happiness and listens to her. It’s funny. It’s fluffy. Our characters are super likable. I thought the world building was good. We are introduced to other characters that I look forward to reading their stories. I have read it three times according to Good reads. I like these people. Maybe you will too?