The passing of Carrie Fisher at the end of a year that seemed full of celebrity deaths shocked and saddened many. Added to this came news of her mother, Debbie Reynolds, dying the very next day, a sad tragedy which no one could ever have foreseen. Both ladies lit up the silver screen, and Fisher’s work as Princess Leia on Star Wars will always remain iconic.
The outpouring of grief from fans across the globe was to be expected; after all, the Star Wars fandom has been in existence for 40 years, and the love for the movies and its characters crosses generations. Just as we are all still grieving, so too are Fisher’s family and friends, including Mark Hamill, who played Fisher’s on screen brother, Luke Skywalker. Having already released a statement expressing his upset, Hamill has now elaborated more in a detailed statement to EW. In the post, Hamill calls Fisher “an inspiration for young girls and women everywhere,” and recalls how, prior to the release of Star Wars, moviegoers were used to seeing a damsel-in-distress who “cowers as the men save her.”
The character of Leia changed all that, and in many ways, Fisher’s role in The Force Awakens cemented her strength even more so; presenting a strong, confident leader who had only grown more graceful with age. Hamill recalls their time on The Force Awakens, too, explaining that the pair had lost the closeness they shared during the years spent filming A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
“So coming back for The Force Awakens was a real gift. We could reconnect in a meaningful way. She was very open about how scary it was. But I thought she looked fantastic, and so dignified. We couldn’t be what we were before — running around the Death Star, bumping heads and swapping one-liners — but that’s life. And that’s what these stories deal with: Life and death, renewal and hope.”
But it’s the more personal comments that Hamill makes that really hit home. “We really were like a brother and sister,” he remarks, stating that he loved her but she drove him crazy- a true sign of a sibling relationship if ever there was one. It seems as though the opinions most people had of Fisher; that she was funny, sharp, witty, and slightly nuts (in the best possible way), were in fact, pretty spot on. Hamill calls her unpredictable, infuriating, and caring, as well as hilarious, dark, and sardonic.
“I’m sure there is a long list of people who knew her better than I did, but our relationship was special. We were in the garage band that hit it big, and then we split up and went on our merry ways. She was something else. I met only one Carrie Fisher. I don’t expect to meet another.”
Fisher was indeed one of a kind, as was her mother. The pair will be the subject of the documentary, Bright Lights, which has been moved up to air on HBO on Saturday, January 7th. Fisher will also appear in Star Wars Episode VIII, having completed filming her scenes before she died. Hamill will also be reprising his role for the movie.