Star Wars’ Princess Leia, Best-Selling Author Carrie Fisher, Dies at Age 60

The latest Star Wars film, Rogue One, entered the political discussion – and relevance in the world of Trump – with the line that “rebellions are built on hope.” Many on the left saw a message there, and embraced it, lest we face our own dark empire.

One of the original cast of the first Star Wars film, later renamed A New Hope, Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, died Tuesday of complications from a heart attack suffered on Dec. 23 during a flight from London to Los Angeles.

Co-star Mark Hamill’s tweet was heart-felt:

Fischer reprised her role of Princess Leia, now General Leia, in last year’s The Force Awakens, chronologically labeled Episode VII. She had recently completed filming of the next film in the saga, Episode VIII, to be released December 15, 2017. She was expected to appear also in the final film of the trilogy, Episode IX, which will not begin filming until 2017.

Disney could replace her, or write her out of the film, or do what they did for Rogue One with the role of Grand Moff Tarkin when they digitally recreated Peter Cushing and cast a voice actor to speak his lines. It was uncanny, but Cushing had died many years ago, and Fisher’s death will still be very recent. It is not known what direction the studio will go.

Obviously, the Fisher family will have a say. There were suggestions that Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, might play a young Leia in Rogue One, but instead a digitally created Fisher was employed in a scene that lasted only a few seconds.

When she died, Fisher was on a promotional tour for her new book “The Princess Diarist,” and was the author of 1987’s “Postcards From the Edge,” a semi-autobiographical tale that was later made into a movie, and three more novels and two memoirs.

She appeared in dozens of films besides the original Star Wars trilogy and sequels, from starring roles to cameos like the nun she played in Star Wars super-fan Kevin Smith’s (who had a cameo as a Stormtrooper in Force Awakens) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Carrie Fisher was a remarkable woman. As The Washington Post‘s obit says, “She portrayed Princess Leia as an alluring, resourceful and innocent combination of Little Orphan Annie and Joan of Arc — with her hair worn in coils on each side of her head.”

Her Twitter profile reads, “theres no room for demons when you’re self possessed….”

The Daily Beast‘s Marlow Stern called her “Hilarious, brilliant, uncompromising. A true original.”

She will be missed not only as an actress and best-selling author but as a mental health advocate, and as a woman who was never afraid to be herself and speak her mind in an age when women are often expected to do neither.