Carrie Fisher became a hero to a generation of girls with her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa, the brave, blaster-wielding heroine of the original Star Wars trilogy.
As Leia, Fisher uttered some of the franchise’s most memorable lines. She set one of film’s greatest battles between good and evil in motion when she exclaimed, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope,” in the original 1977 Star Wars, later retitled, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. She delivered one of movie history’s most epic burns when she called Han Solo a “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerfherder,” in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.
Fisher, who died today at age 60 after suffering from cardiac arrest on a flight from London Dec. 23, will be remembered for more than her role as Leia. She openly struggled with bipolar disorder, depression, and substance abuse. Though she was infamous for donning a gold bikini in one of Hollywood’s sexiest scenes, she became outspoken on the need to judge women on more than appearance. Below are some of her best quotes:
On Hollywood beauty standards
“We treat beauty like an accomplishment, and that is insane, everyone in LA says, ‘Oh you look good,’ and you listen for them to say you’ve lost weight. It’s never ‘How are you?’ or ‘You seem happy!'”
On living with mental illness
“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside).”
“At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”
“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”
“Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.”
On her off-screen tryst with Harrison Ford
“It was so intense. It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.”
On her legacy
“I am Princess Leia, no matter what. If I were trying to get a good table, I wouldn’t say I wrote Postcards. Or, if I’m trying to get someone to take my check and I don’t have ID, I wouldn’t say, ‘Have you seen Harry Met Sally?’ Princess Leia will be on my tombstone.”