I want to be "too much" of a person, just like Carrie Fisher
This past year at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, Mark Hamill led an hour-long panel that was part eulogy, part celebration, part oral history about his dear friend and “space sister” Carrie Fisher. I sat in the audience, up in the balcony, and fought to hold back tears through the entire thing. I mostly succeeded. Hamill said many beautiful and touching things about his former co-star, and a lot of them I have scribbled down in my SWCO notebook, since I was diligently taking notes to cover the panel. Out of all the scribbles I have, one of Hamill’s quotes sticks out above the rest: Carrie was “too much.”
He didn’t mean this as a bad or negative thing; he was simply stating the truth. Carrie Fisher was literally too much of a person, in all the ways one is multifaceted, funny, engaging, smart, strong, observant, and loving. Carrie was all these things, and so much more. That’s the definition of “too much.”
Hamill’s full quote is as follows, when talking about how yes, he too had a crush on his “space sister” back before he realized they were going to be “space siblings” in Star Wars. While describing how the two used to make out like “horny teenagers” during filming for A New Hope, he explained:
At a time where women are constantly being accused of being too weak, or too soft, or too sexy, or too emotional, or too confusing, or too distracted, or too mean, or too bitchy, or too asking for it, or too whatever, no one is accusing anyone of being “too much.” But I want to be too much. Carrie was too much. I want to be too much of one person — too much of one woman — that others are left completely in awe of them, and can’t fit their description into any one box. That’s everything that Carrie Fisher embodied.
We don’t have time to get into every single magnificent thing that Fisher ever did, because the list is long and we don’t have all day to cry. But the truth is, she was too much. She was too open and honest about her struggles with alcohol and drugs, and became one of the first to really bring mental illness into the forefront for an open discussion. She was too direct when critiquing some Star Wars choices, like how she couldn’t wear a bra, something that still boggles my mind. She was too blunt when it came to discussing the relationship with her family, and her own romantic trysts (and she even, very surprisingly, kept one too secret for 40 years).
She was too funny when she didn’t mean to be, and she was too good at giving advice to her younger costars. She was too loud on red carpets — both in voice and fashion choice — but she never changed her ways. She drank too much Coke.
Fisher was too much. She was too much of a person and that’s maybe my favorite thing about her. When describing her, you can’t simply say one thing about her, you have to say, like, six. You can’t just say she played
Princess General Leia in Star Wars, because you also have to bring up her novels, along with her mental health advocacy. At some point, you have to mention her children, Billie Lourd and also Gary the Dog. Describing her takes, like, a solid three minutes because she was so many things, and all of them were just as important as the others.
When I think about what I want to be, I want to be just like Fisher in this same sense. I want to be too much to describe, and so diverse that there’s a laundry list of qualities that need to be rattled off. That’s Carrie — and that was Carrie, and that’s always going to be Carrie. So I guess if we’re only allowed to pick one thing to describe Carrie Fisher from here on out, it’s perfectly fitting that she was simply “too much.”