“Please stop debating about whether or not [I] aged well. Unfortunately it hurts all three of my feelings. My body hasn’t aged as well as I have,” Fisher tweeted on December 29, 2015, yet another display of her unabashed and unapologetic attitude on life. She passed away on December 27, 2016. Though Carrie Fisher was known for her role in Star Wars, her fans will remember her for this outspokenness, particularly about her life as a woman with bipolar disorder.
It would take Carrie Fisher until 2000 to finally be comfortable with her bipolar disorder. On the Guardian, a fan named Alex, a person with the same disorder, wrote in and asked her how she deals with the mental illness. She replied, “Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic — not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder. That’s why it’s important to find a community — however small — of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities.” She also explained the disorder to a little boy at Indiana Comic Con 2015, “It makes you go very fast or very sad. Or both. Those are fun days. So, judgment isn’t one of my big things. But I have a good voice. I can write well. I’m not a good bicycle rider. Just like everybody else, only louder and faster, and sleeps more.” Her fame also rubbed off on her service dog Gary, a French bulldog, who she brought with her to most of her events, including interviews and red carpets. Though it is unclear who ran the account, Gary even has a Twitter, which he used on December 27 to say, “Saddest tweets to tweet. Mommy is gone. I love you @carriefisher.”
Gary is not the only one sharing their sadness over Fisher’s early death, caused suddenly from a severe heart attack on a plane on December 23, though her family released statements afterwards that she was in stable condition. Her on-screen twin brother, Mark Hamill, tweeted, “No words #Devastated” with a promotional picture of the two in costume. George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars franchise, shared some memories of her to US Magazine and said, “She was extremely smart; a talented actress, writer and comedienne with a very colorful personality that everyone loved.”
Fisher’s death comes after what may have been her most media present year since starring in the original Star Wars films. This presence includes making a return in the series and the release of a new memoir, The Princess Diarist, in which she revealed that she’d had an affair with Harrison Ford while filming the original Star Wars film, while she was 19 years old and he was 33 and married. Ford has yet to comment on the subject, but he did remember her in a statement he made on December 27. “Carrie was one-of-a-kind… brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely.”
Carrie Fisher is being remembered by her family, including her mother, Debbie Reynolds, her daughter Billie Lourd and Gary, her dog, as well as by fans around the world.