Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

RIP Carrie Fisher

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The cliché goes, if you’re of a certain age… In this case, if you’re of a certain age, your uncle took you to see Star Wars and you saw Carrie Fisher for the first time in 1977. Then you got a little older, and you and your brother saw The Empire Strikes Back, and you saw Han Solo get the girl. Then you got a little older, enough to appreciate the gold bikini on the sail barge (a favorite at every fan convention), you saw Return of the Jedi, and Carrie Fisher ended up with Han Solo while her brother went off and did whatever stupid things Jedi do that have nothing to do with saving the universe.

In the meantime you were vaguely aware of the world off screen, hanging with John Belushi, her marriage to Paul Simon, the drugs, etc. Then you got a little older, and there was Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally, and this time she settled for the late Bruno Kirby. Many years later, Fisher re-appeared doing her one-woman show explaining her life. And you realized time has slipped away; you were no longer young, too.

There was one more Star Wars movie, one more chance to revisit our childhoods, this time taking my son to see the movie with me. Carrie Fisher was now the old(er) lady on the screen, regretting the mistakes she and Han Solo made. Not really that different from her one-woman show. Unfortunately, unlike in the movies she won’t continue as some ethereal presence thanks to the Force to continue to grow old with us. We are but mortals after all.

But Fisher will always be synonymous with the stars, Hollywood or in the movies. Her life and her career were the products of our celebrity culture, one of its better (and certainly more interesting) ones. May she rest in peace.

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