Best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, the actress Carrie Fisher died last week at the far-too-young age of 60 – having just completed filming in London before Christmas for the next series of the TV comedy 'Catastrophe'. Among the many tributes to Fisher since her death, yesterday one of the most moving came from Mark Hamill, her co-star in the Star Wars movies and her friend of forty years.
Back in 1976, Fisher was just 19 when she filmed the first Star Wars movie with 24-year-old Hamill, who was himself playing Luke Skywalker, the character who would turn out to be Leia's brother (but not before a long flirtation between them and even a kiss). The pair went on to make four more Star Wars films together, including 2015's 'The Force Awakens' and the still-untitled next movie in the series, due to be released this December. ('Rogue One' fans will know that she briefly pops up in that film too.)
Hamill has now written a touching essay about his friendship with Fisher, which has been published in the Hollywood Reporter.
In this very personal piece, Hamill writes about how it felt like he and Fisher were 'in a garage band together'. He recalls first meeting Fisher over dinner in London in 1976 and being 'bowled over' at how she was 'instantly ingratiating and funny and outspoken'. He also remembers how when 'Star Wars' was released in 1977 they dealt with sudden fame alongside each other, sharing the unique strangeness of it all.
Hamill also stresses that the relationship between himself and Fisher wasn't always smooth and that she could be 'high maintenance'. But he also says that his life would have been 'so much drabber and less interesting if she hadn't been the friend that she was'.
It's a lovely piece, extremely tender and in some ways the human equivalent of one of Chewbacca's heartfelt howls of pain.
You can read Mark Hamill's full tribute to Carrie Fisher here.
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