The Carrie Fisher Canon: Five Essential Works Beyond the Star Wars Universe
We miss you, Carrie
Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing in 2016 broke our nerdy hearts into a million pieces. The loss of the legendary woman behind General Leia Organa was a devastating blow to pop culture, leaving a blast crater in the space once held by brilliant actor, writer and activist.
On this May the Fourth, we wanted to take a look back at five of our favorite works by the marvelous Ms. Fisher that exist outside the Star Wars Universe.
1. Postcards From the Edge
Fisher’s semi-autobiographical novel Postcards From the Edge is loosely based on Fisher’s struggles with addiction and her dysfunctional but loving relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds. When it was published in 1987, the novel broke boundaries by discussing topics like addiction, therapy, and rehabilitation with effusive candor and wicked humor. Fisher also wrote the screenplay for the hit film adaptation, which was directed by Mike Nichols and starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Postcards From the Edge remains one of the greatest mother-daughter movies ever made … not too shabby for Fisher’s first novel.
2. When Harry Met Sally…
When Harry Met Sally… was released in 1989, it quickly became the template on which all romantic comedies were built. Carrie Fisher’s performance as Sally’s best friend Marie was sharp, hilarious and heartbreaking: the original “sassy best friend.” Countless rom-coms have struggled to copy the same magic of Rob Reiner’s classic film, but few measure up. As much as we love the heartfelt romance between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, it’s Fisher’s romance with Bruno Kirby’s Jess that is true #relationshipgoals.
3. 30 Rock
It’s hard to imagine now, but 30 Rock was not a smash hit when it premiered in 2006. The series struggled to find its footing in its rocky first seasons amidst last-minute casting changes and low ratings. The series began to hit its stride in season two, thanks to a master class in scene-stealing from Carrie Fisher. Season two’s fourth episode, Rosemary’s Baby, features Fisher as Rosemary Howard, a comedy writer idolized by Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon.
After meeting her at a book signing, Liz invites Rosemary to write on TGS, but quickly realizes that Rosemary’s pitches are too controversial. After Jack Donaghy fires them both, Liz finds herself in Rosemary’s tiny apartment in Little Chechnya, and slowly realizes that Rosemary has lost her mind. The episode ends with Liz running out of Rosemary’s apartment, as Fisher screams her iconic “help me, Obi Wan Kenobi” line after her. Flawless.
4. Wishful Drinking
Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, was a hilarious look back at Fisher’s Hollywood upbringing, her rise to fame in the Star Wars films, and her subsequent battles with bipolar disorder and addiction. The premiered in LA in 2010 and enjoyed a successful run on Broadway, culminating in a filmed special for HBO that was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. I was lucky enough to see the show in LA, and Fisher captivated audiences with her hilarious and raunchy stories about her storied career. Fisher was developing a sequel to the show before her death.
One of Fisher’s final roles was as Rob Delaney’s acerbic mother, Mia, on the Amazon comedy series Catastrophe. The brutally funny series takes an unflinching look at marriage and children, and Fisher’s performance featured her at her best: scathingly funny, smart, and scene-stealing. The running joke of Fisher unable to pronounce her granddaughter Muirean’s name is hilarious. The series also features Fisher’s beloved dog Gary, who was her constant companion.
What are your favorite Carrie Fisher moments? Let us know in the comments, and May the Fourth be with you.
(image: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)
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