You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Princess Leia as a Disney princess one idea for the character’s future


On the same day that scores of celebrity mourners were gathering at the neighboring L.A. homes of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher after their deaths last month, fans and filmmakers were weighing the fate of Fisher’s most iconic character, Princess Leia.

Cody Christensen, a fan from Cedar City, Utah, has his wish: The father of five daughters has launched a Change.org petition to “Make Leia an official Disney princess.”

“After the tragic loss of Carrie Fisher, we feel that it is only fitting for Disney to do away with the rule that an official Disney princess must be animated and make Leia a full-fledged princess,” Christensen writes as part of his petition, which has gained more than 50,000 supporters. “This would be a wonderful way to remember Carrie and a welcoming to one of Disney’s new properties that is beloved by millions.

“What we are asking,” Christensen continues, “is that the Walt Disney Corporation hold a full ceremony inducting Leia as the newest Disney princess as well as a special service in memory of Carrie Fisher.”

What makes this well-meaning campaign a bit awkward is that the Disney Princess line isn’t about coronation into some regal circle as much as it is about marketing. The official Disney Princess designation was first bestowed upon the company’s animated royalty two decades ago to move plastic product. This is less about legacies and more about tchotchkes. Why peal the court trumpets of composer John Williams simply for merchandising Belles and whistles?

(Perhaps a better tribute would be Make Fisher a Disney Legend, just as Star Wars creator George Lucas became a part of the Class of 2015. Disney Legends is a hall of fame recognizing individual creative contributions to the company.)

HBO, which will debut the documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” on Saturday, recently reaired its televised version of Fisher’s one-woman show, 2010’s “Wishful Drinking.” In that performance, Fisher — in noting her sometime love/hate relationship with Leia — points to some of the more embarrassing marketed likenesses of the princess-warrior and space slave, including a model figure that she pivots to show off its decidedly adult creep-shot angles.

In that live performance, Fisher notes that she does not even own her own likeness, at least within the Star Wars universe — it’s owned by Lucas.

Or at least it was, until 2012, when Disney bought Lucasfilm, and thus its full Star Wars franchise, for about $4 billion. Now, it’s the Mouse House that decides how Fisher’s “Leia face” will be deployed.

All of this figures into creative meetings set for next week to determine Leia’s future in the Star Wars films, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Fisher returned as Gen. Organa for 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” of course. For December’s spinoff film, “Rogue One” — which is set immediately before the events of 1977’s “A New Hope” — the younger Leia’s likeness was digitally recreated.

Because “Rogue One” also featured a digital re-creation of Grand Moff Tarkin as “performed” by Peter Cushing (who died in 1994), the film has raised anew the issues about the challenges and ethics of posthumous appropriation of an actor’s likeness.

Fisher, according to multiple reports, had shot her scenes for this December’s “Episode VIII” Star Wars film. Yet the Hollywood Reporter says that a larger role was planned for Leia in 2019’s “Episode IX.” Her future scenes, the industry trade reports, were set to include a reunion with sibling Luke Skywalker and a “confrontation” with her son.

“Episode IX” director/writer Colin Trevorrow — who reportedly will meet with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy next week to talk creative options — could help decide to scale back Leia’s role. And of course, Leia’s appearances could be a CGI creation, which would rear the head of not only technological possibility, but also — yet again — the issue of ethics.

Perhaps no one could have found this all as entertaining as Carrie Fisher herself. She always appreciated that in Hollywood, even amid moments of humanity, business always rolls on.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360

Jon Bonnell and Jody Horton team up for new book

Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell teamed up with Austin photographer Jody Horton for his newest cookbook, “Waters: Fine Coastal Cuisine” ($35, Gibbs Smith), which came out last month. Bonnell’s third book focuses on recipes that, like his Fort Worth restaurant of the same name, use sustainable wild seafood, much of which is harvested in...
Gelato World Tour to swing through Austin in May

Next month, Austin will host the Gelato World Tour, an international competition that pits gelato makers from five continents against one another to find the best gelato in the world. Austin is the only North American stop on the eight-city tour, which has already passed through Rome, Valencia, Melbourne and Dubai. The event, which is free and open...
Rye, a grain with ancient roots, is rising again
Rye, a grain with ancient roots, is rising again

Any adventurous eater who has wandered into the woods of modern Nordic cuisine has probably tripped over a loaf of rye bread. There is wonderfully chewy rugbrod at Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York, spice-scented Swedish limpa at Plaj in San Francisco, and darkly rugged toast at Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis. But none...
This week’s music picks: A tribute to Don Walser, Seela record release and more
This week’s music picks: A tribute to Don Walser, Seela record release and more

Anthony da Costa at Lemon Lounge. Though he recently moved to Nashville to pursue budding opportunities — he’s now the touring guitarist in renowned singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan’s band — Anthony da Costa was among the many talented musicians who helped make South Austin venue Strange Brew a thriving creative community...
A Champagne for the ages
A Champagne for the ages

When Armand-Raphael Graser moved from his native Alsace, France, to the Champagne region in 1915, World War I was raging. He purchased a house built in 1772 and from there launched Champagne AR Lenoble in 1920.  Unlike many of his German neighbors, who had moved to Champagne in the 18th and 19th centuries, Graser chose not to use his own name...
More Stories