When you woke up this morning you might have felt something. No, it wasn’t the rumbling of the garbage truck outside your window or the screeching pain caused by your blaring alarm clock. It was the Force.
Shooting a movie’s not like performing a play. The theatrical process is primal, all rooted in emotion and immersion within the fictional moment. Production on a feature film requires far more on a technical level, to the point where actors will be ordered to pick up a spoon in the exact same way ten times, just to be safe. (David Fincher famously went through one hundred takes to nail the opening breakup in his magnum opus The Social Network.) For the typical actor, most of filmmaking is waiting around for stuff to happen — but that’s far less tiresome when you get to hang out with Carrie Fisher between calls of “ACTION!”
Star Wars Celebration kicked off in Orlando this afternoon with a giant panel to honor the upcoming 40th anniversary of the beloved franchise. As exciting as it all was, including guest appearances by everyone from George Lucas to Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, there was still a glimmer of sadness in the air as one member of the gang was absent this year. The loss of Carrie Fisher last December left a stain of melancholy across not only the Star Wars fanbase, but all of Hollywood. To celebrate the brilliance, charisma and warmth Fisher gave us throughout her lengthy career, and the iconic status of General Leia Organa, LucasFilm paid tribute to the actress in a beautiful video.
It’s been a few months since the world lost Carrie Fisher, and while many would prefer to expand the conversation to her accomplishments outside of the Star Wars universe, plenty of people are anxiously wondering how her death might affect her character in the upcoming Star Wars sequels. For some, this can be viewed as a tacky approach to celebrity, but there’s a sweeter side to things as well. Leia Organa remains an icon for people around the world; finding an appropriate way to say goodbye to her character will be, in essence, the way many Star Wars fans say goodbye to Fisher herself.
After Carrie Fisher’s untimely death, a lot of fans speculated about how her absence would affect the story of the final Star Wars movie. All of her scenes had been completed for Episode VIII, but production hadn’t yet started on Episode IX, and some wondered whether Lucasfilm would pull a Tarkin and resurrect General Organa using a combination of CGI and motion-capture...
Unexpected deaths of actors who are part of huge ongoing franchises make things complicated. You want to pay your respects in a decent way, while also, in the best case scenario, keeping the rest of the series afloat without them. Carrie Fisher had finished shooting all of her scenes in Star Wars: Episode VIII before her death in December, but she still apparently has a pretty big role to play in the final installment. How will they keep the story going without actually having her in it? There’s a rumor going around that Disney is thinking of going the Tarkin route.
Of all the celebrity deaths in 2016, Carrie Fisher’s might hurt the worst. At 60 years old, she was still a young woman; she should have had many great performances, books, and scripts ahead of her. And with her recent work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it seemed like she was finally getting her due as an actor, after years spent in the spotlight as an author and activist.