Carrie Fisher and the joy of true faith

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Carrie Fisher and the joy of true faith

December 28, 2016 -

Carrie Fisher will be remembered for one of the most iconic roles in film history, but much of her personal story was surprisingly ironic.

Fisher was a prolific author, writing five novels, three non-fiction works, three plays, and six screenplays. Yet she never finished high school—she was cast in the Broadway play Irene at the age of fifteen and had to drop out. She later studied at Sarah Lawrence College but again had to drop out, this time because of Star Wars.

She appeared in forty-three movies and sixty-six television episodes. She also turned down the female lead in The Princess Bride and The Terminator. Yet she will always be known for her first movie role.

Fisher was briefly engaged to Dan Aykroyd. While filming The Blues Brothers, he saved her life when she choked on a Brussels sprout and he performed the Heimlich maneuver on her. However, she ended their engagement and married Paul Simon.

Much of what made her famous in Star Wars was ironic as well. She hated the bikini she wore in Return of the Jedi, yet it took on a life of its own and sold at auction for $96,000. She also hated Princess Leia’s “bagel bun” hairstyle but was afraid that if she complained, George Lucas would fire her.

Fisher was a foot shorter than Harrison Ford, so she had to stand on a box for many of their scenes together. Their on-screen chemistry was more than acting; she later revealed that they had an affair while filming the first Star Wars movie. And when she first read the script, she wanted to be Han Solo.

The Washington Post called Princess Leia “an alluring, resourceful and innocent combination of Little Orphan Annie and Joan of Arc.” It’s the Joan of Arc part of her character that most endeared her to fans worldwide. But unlike Joan of Arc, neither Princess Leia nor the actress who played her knew the true Force of the universe.

And that’s the most tragic irony of all.

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