‘Star Wars’ Legend’s Tragic Death Blamed on Sequels, “She Practically Killed Herself”

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A woman with two side buns in her hair, wearing a white robe, holds a futuristic-looking gun in 'Star Wars: A New Hope.'

Credit: Lucasfilm

The death of Star Wars legend Carrie Fisher has been blamed on the pressure of the franchise’s sequels.

This December will mark eight years since the passing of Princess Leia Organa actress Carrie Fisher. Shortly after filming wrapped on Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), Fisher suffered a heart attack aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles. After four days in intensive care, a spokesperson for Fisher’s daughter, actress Billie Lourd, confirmed that Fisher had sadly died.

Princess Leia in her white hooded robes in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother, Carrie Fisher, passed away at 8:55 this morning,” the spokesperson said in a statement to People.

In January, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a death certificate that stated “cardiac arrest/deferred” as Fisher’s cause of death. Months later, it was revealed that Fisher – who was open about her past drug use – had cocaine and traces of heroin, other opiates, and MDMA in her system when she died.

luke skywalker (left) kissing leia organa solo (right) in the last jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

At the time, Lourd addressed the news by speaking out against the stigma of drug addiction. “My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life,” she said. “She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases … I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs.”

Several years later, singer James Blunt – who was one of Fisher’s best friends and briefly lived at her home in Los Angeles – has also addressed Fisher’s drug use at the time of her death and has pinned the blame on the mounting pressure of filming the Star Wars sequels.

Carrie Fisher talks to Billie Lourde in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Credit: Lucasfilm

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“I was with her the day before she died when she came down to my house,” he told audiences during a recent appearance at the Hay Festival. “And she’d been really mistreating her body, and she’d just got the job again of being Princess Leia in a new Star Wars movie.”

While Fisher was reportedly “really on a high” about reprising her role of Princess Leia alongside former co-stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Blunt said that Star Wars bosses “had applied a lot of pressure on her to be thin. She spoke about the difficulties that women have in the industry, how men are allowed to grow old, and women are certainly not in film and TV.”

Blunt claimed that the late actress put a lot of pressure on herself during this period and “started using drugs again and by the time she got on the plane, she had effectively killed herself. They say it was heart failure of some kind, but she had taken enough drugs to have a really good party.”

A woman with an intricate updo hairstyle and wearing a dark blue outfit with a high collar stands outdoors in the 'Star Wars' sequels.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Fisher admitted that she was pressured to lose weight for the Star Wars sequels prior to her death. “They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters!” she told Good Housekeeping in January 2016. “Nothing changes, it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger because that’s how easy it is.”

This isn’t the first time Blunt has addressed Fisher’s drug use in her final months, either. In his memoir “Loosely Based on a Made-Up Story,” he admitted that he took too gentle an approach to confronting her about her issues, for which her daughter allegedly still resents him to this day.

“Charlie, her best friend, confronted her more directly and told her she needed to quit drugs,” Blunt wrote. “I took a different approach and did them with her, pretending to myself that I would guide her to redemption one day – just not today. As a result, her daughter Billie blames me in part for her death and no longer speaks to me.”

A woman in a white outfit with brown hair styled in large side buns stands in front of several armored soldiers wearing white helmets and armor, holding black weapons in 'Star Wars: A New Hope.'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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While Fisher appeared in the final installment of the Skywalker Saga via a combination of CGI and unused footage, Lourd previously revealed that she was excited for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) to be Leia’s moment to shine in the franchise.

“One of the last times we spoke on the phone, she talked about how excited she was that the next movie in the trilogy was going to be Leia’s movie,” she said. “Her movie.”

What’s your favorite Princess Leia moment in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments!

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