Carrie Fisher Has Died at 60

Luke and Leia Last jedi

Actress Carrie Fisher has died at the age of 60, People magazine reports.

The Star Wars star suffered a cardiac arrest on Friday on a United Airlines flight from London to Los Angeles just before it landed at LAX. She was travelling back from promoting her new book The Princess Diarist. Paramedics were there when the plane landed and “provided Advanced Life Support and aggressively treated and transported the patient to a local hospital.” Her brother, Todd Fisher, told reporters that his sister was in the Intensive Care Unit.

Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy which started in 1977, the character that propelled her into fame.

Princess Leia Heart Attack
Princess Leia

In the 1980s, Fisher battled addictions to alcohol and drugs, which she wrote about in her first book, 1987’s  “Postcards from the Edge.” The successful, semi-autobiographical novel is about an actress addicted to drugs and it was made into a movie in 1990 for which Fisher wrote the screenplay. Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine starred in the film. 

Fisher has also had success as a script consultant for multiple movies, revising scripts for “Sister Act” and “The Wedding Singer.” 

In 2008, Fisher released “Wishful Drinking,” an autobiographical book in which she wrote more about her struggles with addiction and mental illness. It was turned into a one-woman stage play starring Fisher and aired on HBO.

Leia and Han in Star Wars The Force Awakens
Leia and Han in Star Wars The Force Awakens

In a 2015 interview with Diane Sawyer, Fisher publicly revealed her struggles with manic depression, a chemical disorder also known as bipolar disorder.

 

“I used to think I was a drug addict, pure and simple — just someone who could not stop taking drugs willfully, And I was that. But it turns out that I am severely manic depressive.”

 

Fisher returned to the “Star Wars” franchise in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. She has just finished shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII due for release December 2017.

In her new new book The Princess Diarist Fisher revealed that she had a secret love affair with Harrison Ford during filming of the first Star Wars movie.

Carrie Fisher was born October 21, 1956 to Hollywood actor Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. She is survived by her daughter, Billie Catherine Lourd, from a previous relationship with agent Bryan Lourd.

Rogue One Review (contains spoilers)

Rogue One Review

Star Wars Rogue One – a new type of Star Wars movie

(contains spoilers)

In this new era of regular Star Wars movies, my viewing of Rogue One was approached with mild caution and hope, there’s always hope.

When you are such a huge Star Wars fan, it’s almost impossible to accurately judge how good a new Star Wars movie is on the first viewing. We all remember the hype machine of 1999 when The Phantom Menace was released – the first Star Wars movie for 16 years. We all swore it was a good movie, we must have – most of us watched more then five times at the theater!

More recently The Force Awakens was also similarly hyped, although this time we were spared the three months of camping outside the theater – remember that?  Now the dust has settled on The Force Awakens, I think we can safely say it’s a competent if slightly derivative episode of the saga. I bring all this up, because the real test of time is years – not days or even months to judge one movie against the other.

So for me, Rogue One starts off slowly setting up the story.  It already feels a little different with no opening crawl and no John Williams music, both firsts in a Star Wars movie.

Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor in Rogue One
Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor in Rogue One

Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter Jyn. His peaceful life ends when the ambitious Imperial director Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Galen is now the Empire’s lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, a grown up Jyn joins forces with the rebels to steal the space station’s plans for the Rebel Alliance. 

Director Orson Krennic
Director Orson Krennic

Established rebel characters feature, such as Mon Mothma and General Dadonna, as well as a bunch of new heroes including Cassian Andor and reprogrammed Imperial droid K2SO to provide the sarcastic wise cracks.

Probably the main talking point of Rogue One, was bringing Peter Cushing back from the dead as character Grand Moff Tarkin thanks to recent breakthrough CGI technology. It really is a watershed moment and which makes your jaw drop the first time you see it!  The same trick is pulled at the movies conclusion with a brief scene of a young 1977 Princess Leia, to prove Tarkin wasn’t a fluke.

Vader also features in a couple of powerful scenes which adds gravitas to the Star Wars universe.

Building the Death Star against his will, Galen has intentionally left a weakness within the design, detailed in the Death Star plans stored at a data center on the Tropical planet of Scarif also the location of the Death Star’s construction.

Rogue One is a more serious Star Wars movie more suited to adults in the same vein as Empire Strikes Back or arguably Revenge of the Sith, it respectfully and nostalgically captures the same tone as A New Hope.  The second half of the movie which climaxes with the Battle of Scarif, is a lot more intense and keeps up the pace brilliantly until the end.

The standard of acting performances is top drawer for a Star Wars movie, and the action scenes are a hark back to the original movies. I particularly liked the scene where the rebel fleet turns up for battle at Scarif which reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from Return Of The Jedi.

Battle of Scarif
Battle of Scarif

The movie ends just before the start of A New Hope, and this made me want to watch ANH when I got back home!

So, is Rogue One better than The Force Awakens and the Prequels?  Probably.

But is it as good as the original movies and how does it compare to them?  Only after a few years will we really know that, but Rogue One is surprisingly great and worth watching for any weathered Star Wars fan.

Star Wars Force Ghosts Explained

Force Ghosts

The full explanation of Star Wars ‘Force Ghosts’ can be patchy post-prequels, so Mos Eisley Spaceport attempted to explain the whole thing…

Becoming a Force ghost involves transcending from the Living Force and the Cosmic Force, enabling a Jedi to effectively live on through the Force after their physical death.

This results in the Jedi’s body disappearing on their death or when they choose to transcend. However, this technique is only possible for light-side Jedi and not for Force users that have succumbed to the dark-side.

 

The Beginning…

The first Jedi to transcend to the Cosmic Force was Obi-Wan’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn. However, Qui-Gon did not perfect the technique before his death, so he was only able to project his voice through the Force. This is also why Qui-Gon’s body did not disappear when he died in Obi-Wans arms. He learned this from the Force Priestesses, who come from the same planet where midi-chlorians are said to have originated.

After Qui-Gon’s death, he spoke to Yoda and Obi-Wan, and taught them the technique. This is how both Obi-Wan and Yoda were able to transform into Force Ghosts after their deaths. 

Yoda: “Show yourself, can you?”

Qui-Gon Jinn: “I cannot. My training was incomplete. All energy from the Living Force, from all things that have ever lived, feeds into the Cosmic Force, binding everything and communicating to us through the midi-chlorians. Because of this, I can speak to you now.”

Before leaving for Tatooine in exile, Yoda told Obi-Wan he would teach him how to listen to Qui-Gon through the Force.

 

 

The Original Trilogy

When Obi-Wan Kenobi found himself face to face with Darth Vader, his old student Anakin Skywalker, Kenobi saw more benefit in using that moment to transcend to the Cosmic Force. It had appeared to everyone else that Obi-Wan had been killed by Vader.

There were multiple benefits for Obi-Wan choosing to do this, the distraction helped Luke and the others escape the Death Star and as a Force Ghost Obi-Wan could guide Luke. Obi-Wan helps Luke during the Battle of Yavin at the pivotal moment when Luke decides to use the Force instead of the targeting computer to destroy the Death Star.

It is also possible Obi-Wan or Yoda or Qui-Gon foresaw Anakin overthrow the Emperor, knowing he was the chosen one, Obi Wan was reluctant to kill Vader.

 


But what of Anakin’s Force Ghost?

During the victory party in the Ewok village, why does Anakin Skywalker’s Force Ghost appear and why is it the younger version of him?

When Vader struck his old master Kenobi down, he must have been puzzled as to what had happened to Kenobi’s body. It is likely he performed his own research and studied the technique. He would also have learned that he would not be able to use the technique as a Sith, unless he returned to the light. It is likely the Emperor was also aware of this technique, but Darth Sidious obviously had no intent on returning to the light.

After overthrowing the Emperor and bringing balance to the Force, Vader had redeemed himself and had returned to the light as Anakin Skywalker.

Therefore Anakin was able to transcend to the Cosmic Force on his death and although we don’t see his body disappear, we have to assume that it did shortly after he died. Luke then returned to Endor and built a funeral pyre with Vader’s empty armor.

 

The fact Anakin chose his younger self to be presented as his Force Ghost implies that on returning to the light, Anakin did not want to be remembered as his evil older self that was enthralled to Darth Sidious choosing to be remembered when he was most happy with Padme.