On 27 December 2016, Carrie Fisher died. It seemed impossible that such a wickedly funny and resilient personality could be extinguished. Like her life, Fisher’s death was bound up in her fictional image. Across countless obituaries the dominant image of Fisher was of her as Princess Leia. “Her portrayal of the sardonic and self-rescuing princess redefined the archetype,” claims the book Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy. Her return to the public eye via the Star Wars sequel trilogy coinciding with the emergence of fourth-wave feminism meant she was heralded as a feminist icon for a new generation. Uproariously outspoken on misogyny in Hollywood and the stigmatisation of mental health issues, Fisher held her trademark middle finger up to those determined to dismiss her. Images of Leia could be seen on protest signs at 2017 Women’s Marches all over the world.
My essay on Postcards from the Edge is available to read on Girls on Tops: “You’re My Fantasy”: Postcards from the Edge and the Subversion of the Male Gaze