Many of us were very ready for 2017 to come around and hit the reset button, in hopes we can have a less tragic year in terms of loss than 2016. It was a bad year for losing beloved people, but when Carrie Fisher passed away last week it seemed like one of the hardest to take was saved for last. Now her Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill has penned a touching tribute to her, detailing some of their early adventures working on Star Wars with one another.
The actor who was responsible for bringing Luke Skywalker to life wrote the column for The Hollywood Reporter and really opened up about his friendship with Carrie Fisher. Most of the column focused on the early days of working on Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and how their friendship blossomed via their experience making those movies together. Here is one of the anecdotes he shared in the column.
"I remember we were out on tour right before the movie opened. By the time we got to Chicago, there was a crowd at the airport. I said, 'Hey look, you guys, there must be somebody famous on the plane.' I was looking around to see who it might be. And then in the crowd I saw a kid dressed in a Han Solo vest. Then I saw girl dressed like Princess Leia. I said, "Oh my God, look, Carrie, there's somebody dressed just like you. She's got the buns on her head!""
Fox famously had very little faith in the original Star Wars prior to its release in 1977. That being the case, none of the actors had any reason to believe that fans would be dressing up like Princess Leia all over the world. Given that they were both part of the crazy pop culture phenomenon that was and is Star Wars, they were two people who were uniquely positioned to comfort one another as friends throughout their lives. In the column, Mark Hamill reveals that his favorite pastime was making Carrie Fisher laugh.
"She was so committed to joy and fun and embracing life. She had an Auntie Mame quality to her. I would do crazy things to amuse her on the set. Making her laugh was always a badge of honor. I remember during Empire we were split up storywise; it was a difficult film to shot and there was a lot of tension on the set. I was off in the swampland with the puppets and robots, but at least Carrie and Harrison got to work with human beings. Once at lunchtime she said, "You should try on my jumpsuit." I said, "The one-piece white jumpsuit? You're what, 5'2"? I'll never get in!" She said, "Just try." I put on that Princess Leia zipper jump suit and it was so tight I looked like a Vegas lounge singer. If that wasn't ridiculous enough, she had me put on one of those bald cap masks with the Bozo hair and glasses and nose and then she walked me around the back lot."
Carrie Fisher had been out promoting her latest book when she suffered her heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles last week. The heart attack reportedly occurred about 15-minutes before the flight was scheduled to land and she was rushed to a hospital for treatment. Her mother Debbie Reynolds, who tragically passed away the day after Carrie Fisher did, reported a couple of days after the heart attack that her daughter was in stable condition, which gave hope that she would be able to pull through. Sadly, she passed, and since then, many of her co-stars and fans have been paying tribute to her. But this is a much more lengthy and in-depth tribute from Mark Hamill. He wasn't shy about being honest in the piece, saying that their relationship went from one end of the spectrum to the other.
"I'm grateful that we stayed friends and got to have this second act with the new movies. I think it was reassuring to her that I was there, the same person, that she could trust me, as critical as we could sometimes be with each other. We ran the gamut over the years, where we were in love with each other, where we hated each other's guts. "I'm not speaking to you, you're such a judgmental, royal brat!" We went through it all. It's like we were a family."
Star Wars fans will be able to take some consolation in the fact that Carrie Fisher did finish shooting her scenes for Star Wars: Episode VIII before her untimely passing. So, we will get to see General Organa on screen one last time and hopefully, we will get to see her reunite with her movie brother Luke Skywalker. You can read the full column from Mark Hamill over at THR.