Carrie Fisher has died, aged 60. Her daughter Billie Lourd confirmed the news that her mother passed away this morning in a statement delivered by the publicist Simon Halls.

‘‘It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning…She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly.’’

The shock that is coursing through the strata of social media is palpable. Even in a year seemingly peppered with shocking celebrity deaths this one is seismic. The world has lost one of the great lights of the entertainment world, the movie industry has lost one of the finest script doctors there ever was, the galaxy has lost one of its true icons. Collectively our hearts are broken.

She has written so much, and so honestly, about her own life that I won’t attempt to sum up here. You should read her work, discover it if it’s new to you. Enjoy everything she touched, because it, like the world, was elevated by her hand. She may always be defined by her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars but she was so much more.


In later years she seemed to revel in the public adoration. Her playful Twitter spats with William Shatner and other cryptic admonishments were part of her colourful, chaotic charm. She was a sporadic Guardian columnist, giving life advice from the dark side. She had just published her latest book of memoirs called The Princess Diarist, which included her time shooting the first Star Wars film. She returned to the sci-fi saga in 2015 for The Force Awakens, and had just completed filming Rian Johnson’s as-yet-untitled Episode VIII.

Every time I write the word ‘she’ in this piece and have to append my thoughts to the past tense – that seems impossible to do. We loved her, and she knew.

Way back in 1983, following the release of Return of the Jedi she gave an interview to Rolling Stone in which she talked about her own evolution as a person.


…And once it was proposed to me that it was all right to be like I am, I finally quit apologizing for it.

For what?
For being something different. For being strong. Strength is a style.

Ever honest and ever insightful she signed off the interview with a touch of wisdom that would become her trademark in later year, and part of her legacy.

And you try to overcome them in the conflict rather than trying to overcome that thing in yourself?
That’s right. You forget you picked these people to work out your own conflicts. Chance, as you know…

. . . is the fool’s word for fate.
You picked these people, or this person, or that monster because you had something to resolve. And if you recognize that, it gets easier and easier. You get to choose what monsters you want to slay. I’m sorry to say this again, but let’s face it – the Force is with you.

Rest In Peace Carrie Fisher, the world – the galaxy – won’t be the same without you.