By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The final week of 2016 has been difficult for Star Wars fans. Not only did Carrie Fisher pass away, but also her mother Debbie Reynolds — best known for her role as Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain (1952) — the following day. Both left lasting legacies. Fisher will always be known as Princess Leia from Star Wars, and Reynolds is a legend in musical theatre. She was a tour de force.
The news of their passing had Hollywood and myself reeling.
The Star Wars world has seen at least two memorable performers pass — Michael Sheard (Admiral Ozzel) and Kenny Baker (R2D2). With Fisher, she will always be this Galaxy’s Princess. As an advocate of mental health and addiction issues, Carrie has always been very vocal to bring awareness to it. She has bipolar disorder, and that has never stopped her for being who she is. When I first heard of this, I thought I can relate. I admit to having my sour days too, and it never stopped me to be who I am. She was my role model; to see her indomitable attitude and scrappiness that helped lift my spirits. Without Gary, her registered therapy French bulldog to give her that loving support, she might have been in a different place.
I became a fan when I saw her in The Blues Brothers. Here, she was a force of nature. There was a quiet ferocity as she was out to get Jake Blues. She hated the fact he ditched her at the wedding altar, as friends and families gathered. Though they sort of made peace, she was quick to cut loose again when he (physically) dropped her yet again.