Drowned in Moonlight, Strangled by Her Own Bra: Impact pays tribute to Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher, known most for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga, has died aged 60, following a heart attack on a flight to LA. Impact Film & TV looks back at her life, her talent and her incredible capacity to reach so many people, onscreen and off.


When I heard the news of her heart attack, I was worried, and hoped she would be ok. ‘That’s a bit of a rubbish Christmas for her’, I thought. I kept checking back for news, hoping for positive updates, waiting to hear she’d pulled through. She had to pull through. This was Carrie Fisher, living legend. She’d survived so much already – she was one celebrity that had to survive 2016. Of course she would pull through. But then the news update came. ‘Who’s died now?’ my dad asked. ‘Carrie Fisher.’ I couldn’t believe it.

She was more than just another celebrity – she was a force to be reckoned with, an inspiration, and a part of people’s lives and childhoods.

“She said what she thought, and meant it.”

Most notoriously known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars original trilogy, later reprised as General Organa in the recent Episode 7, Carrie Fisher was a hugely talented actress whose no-nonsense attitude and tenacious demeanor brought the fierce rebel to life as convincingly as would have been possible. This princess was a fighter, and she fought hard, making a name for herself as the ground-breaking female role model cinema needed – a character that has stood the test of time.

For a time she was one of the most proliferous people in Hollywood, both on screen with numerous other acting roles (such as When Harry Met Sally, The Burbs), and behind the scenes, being script doctor for many big films, including Hook and The Wedding Singer. She also wrote novels, and penned memoirs and autobiographies – the latest of which, The Princess Diarist, she had been promoting before her untimely death.

"Carrie Fisher as Marie in 1989's When Harry Met Sally"

“Carrie Fisher as Marie in 1989’s When Harry Met Sally”

But it wasn’t just her work that she was known for. Her vibrant personality made her popular in person, in interviews and at conventions, especially with her active social media presence. Leia’s brutally honest and vivacious attitude towards life was shared by her actress, who was never afraid to speak her mind. She said what she thought, and meant it.

Her honesty is displayed most clearly in The Princess Diarist, which reveals the affair she had with Harrison Ford, (Han Solo in Star Wars) whilst filming the original trilogy. In a recent interview on The Graham Norton Show, Carrie talked about how little editing she had done on the diary entries her 19-year-old self had written that are published in the book. She was open about everything, and this made her unique in Hollywood.

She struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues, but just as she approached everything in life, she was frank about it. She spoke out about her difficulties with alcohol and her diagnosis with bipolar disorder, and was also vocal on other important issues, such as ageism in Hollywood, particularly towards women. The openness and empathy that she displayed in the face of her adversities made her become a role model for people everywhere, for an array of reasons.

“She was an inspiration for those with mental health issues and addictions, as well as those struggling to be recognised, or who feel they are not being heard.”

Carrie Fisher’s outspoken nature extended to other feminist issues, such as the clothing she was asked to wear for Star Wars. If you’re wondering about the title of this article, that’s one of them – she once described a conversation in which George Lucas insisted there was no underwear in space, her response to which was to tell people she wanted her obituaries to say she “drowned in moonlight, strangled by [her] own bra”. The infamous bikini was another one – if children ask why she’s not wearing much, tell them she was forced to wear it by a giant slug, and she killed him for it. Let that outfit forever be known as ‘Huttslayer Leia’s costume’, not ‘the metal bikini’.


Her tweets were always amazing, often hilarious, and fans that met her always came away saying how wonderful she was in person. Candid interviews show her swearing and putting up the middle finger, but also being witty, down-to-earth, and genuine. She was an inspiration for those with mental health issues and addictions, as well as those struggling to be recognised, or who feel they are not being heard. Through her work and her legacy, she will continue to inspire.

For those wondering what is next for her character in Star Wars, the road is uncertain. According to Variety, her scenes for the upcoming Episode 8 have already all been shot, but the character’s fate remains to be seen. I am certain that there will be some form of tribute for Carrie in the film, and I know General Leia Organa will not go down without a fight.

It’s been a devastating year for celebrity deaths – it began with Alan Rickman, and it ends with Carrie Fisher. We can only hope that next year will not be so tragic.

The Force was with her, and now she is one with the Force. Farewell, Carrie – you will not be forgotten.

Isobel Sheene

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Media courtesy of LucasFilms, Castle Rock Entertainment, Twitter, YouTube and Entertainment Weekly

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