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Carrie Fisher has died (theverge.com)
428 points by antr on Dec 27, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 178 comments

RIP. She is, of course, someone special for many of us because of her role in Star Wars.

I guess we need to get used to the rapid loss of famous personalities in the future. Stars are not in short supply because media is good at finding extreme talent and injecting them into our special moments. I remember seeing her on the big screen when I was a kid. I also remember listening to Leonard Cohen with my then-girlfriend and now-wife, or dancing to George Michael songs with friends in my youth. I can think of many great artists, and relate them to special moments. I'll surely miss the ones I'll outlive when the day comes.

60 for Carrie Fisher (or 53 for George Michael, for example) is too young of an age to die. I wish a longer and healthier life for others who make unforgettable moments for us, the audience.

I have a feeling that that we'll have fewer celebrities that have the same magnitude of the ones in Fisher's generation, or prior to it, mostly because we have a much more splintered entertainment world. Which is a good thing, because today's world allows for us to be exposed to so much more talent and genre that the movie and music industries would have previously ignored. But it's hard to imagine anyone who is famous right now, in their 20s and 30s, having the same grip on American culture as Michael Jackson or Muhammad Ali.

>Which is a good thing, because today's world allows for us to be exposed to so much more talent and genre that the movie and music industries would have previously ignored.

I think whether it's a good thing depends on whether the important thing is to have access to some better art, or to have shared access to art, even if it's slightly less good.

In other words, art as a shared cultural discussion, vs art as individual consumption. I believe that even the best of art (from a technical standpoint) losses artistic power if it's just consumed by fewer people -- and I mean that it loses it even for those people that do consume it (e.g. they don't get additional layers of meaning/feelings etc by being exposed to the interpretations of the same piece by people and other artists).

I don't disagree with you, necessarily, but the other factor is that everyone has less time and attention to divvy up among the many more celebrities and niches. That's why newspapers and network news will never reach the mindshare that they once had, not even if you resurrected Walter Cronkite and cloned him, because people not only are fine getting their news on Facebook, they're spending a lot of time on FB that might have been spent on other media consumption. Hell, there's a lesson within the old days of newspapers: Afternoon newspapers, almost without exception and regardless of comparative quality, died out compared to morning rivals with the onset of radio and changes to American life schedule.

I feel that you underestimate how large the world is. Niche art easily entertains millions.

Niche art in popular art forms, such as cult films and cult TV shows, easily reach tens of millions (eg Firefly). It's still totally niche compared to Star Wars, but I'm not sure that you can say in any way whatsoever that it loses power because "only" tens millions of people worldwide have seen it.

I'm not talking about Firefly level niche (which still has millions of fans).

There are Pitchfork "Top albums of the year" than less than 5000 people ever listened to.

I don't know, I think Emma Watson would be a hard loss or Jennifer Lawrence, or Chris Pratt. Also Paul Walker was 40 or so, but that was a major loss. I think it is even harder when someone dies young because it's such a shock.

I told this already many times, it feel a golden period is going http://scifioutpost.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/force-gho...

And it feels at best the current gen, ours, is only apply filter (no jab at instagram et al) to enhance old resolutions artificially.

ps: I'd like to bring something about the structure of medias before and now.

The time were channels were limited, where access to production too, the constraints, the potential rigging all this, seems to me now that it had a strong effect on society.

When there was a limited choice, we wouldn't feed our desires directly, production couldn't be extremely tailored, they had to be reaching a broader audience to exist, while having a IT factor. And then people would discuss these things they shared because nothing else was there, and it made it resonnate.

Nowadays, we have all a thing that suits us more, people can produce at lower (artistic and infrastructure) cost. But now productions have less chances to become culturally as relevant as before.

It's just one impression that I have on the status of TV from the 80s and 90s.

Whilst I generally agree with you, my grandparents said the same thing back in the day about Kirk Douglas, Richard Burton, Gene Kelly, Audrey Hepburn...

Kirk Douglas is still alive

Oh, I guess I implied they were all dead when I didn't mean to. I meant more that the stars of the day are always seen as the pinnacle of Stardom.

And just celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this month!

Both her and George Michael died of heart attack.

With all technology/medicine advance it's incredible how many people heart disease still kills in 2016.

May Carrie and George Rest In Peace.

Technology's all very nice, but she died* during a long-haul flight. That severely limits options.

*I hold the theory she's been braindead since then, and the family made a decision today. It sounds cold, but it also means she hasn't been suffering for four days.

Probably right. She suffered what medical professionals call a "witnessed arrest" and while the chances of survival are slightly greater than "unwitnessed arrest" (no bystanders; 100% fatal), the odds are only slightly higher. To survive, she would have needed exquisite CPR with no-pause compressions, followed by AED as quickly as possible. Any pauses in CPR would most likely result in brain death.

The heart attack happened about 15 minutes before the flight landed and CPR was started virtually immediately by a medic on the flight with a medical crew at the gate when it landed.

I'm sure the flight didn't help anything but from the timing it seems like it wasn't as big a factor as it could have been.

It only takes a few extra seconds to go from recoverable to unrecoverable. Human life is a delicate thing.

There is artificial oxygen carrier based on some close hemoglobyn molecule developped right now. That could help as a temporary solution while someone is applying compression to circulate oxygen rich blood and avoid brain damaging hypoxia.

I noticed that George Michael died of heart failure. As far as I understand it, this is a generic term for death. Perhaps the actual cause will be revealed at some point when it is more appropriate.

Nah, my grandpa and mom both suffered from heart failure and lived to tell the tale. My grandpa went on to live another 7 years after his heart failure to the age of 79. (Which I find fairly remarkable honestly.)

Meanwhile my mom is still kickin.

My understanding is a heart attack refers specifically to a blockage in the heart, some combination of narrowing arteries, a blood clot, etc.

Heart failure just refers to an inefficiency of the heart to pump blood. It's caused more by things like arrhythmias, issues w/ blood pressure, etc.

It seemed to me that the heart attack was the more serious of the two, as I believe it's more closely linked to tissue death. As I understood it: the heart attack weakened my grandfather's heart and left him more vulnerable to heart failure.

Heart Failure, Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack, etc

All colloquially used as synonyms. All different. I couldn't tell you which is which. Seems like its different between areas of the medical field as well. So thats problem number 1.

> heart failure. As far as I understand it, this is a generic term for death

It's not. The generic term for death is death. Heart Failure is a real condition. A heart attack could be compared to a circuit overloading, while heart failure can be compared to lose of power.

Seems quite likely it was drugs or suicide.

> heart disease

You mean "partying our faces off for decades on end"?

Unfortunately no, we don't have a cure to fix a generally wrecked body.

Drugs are indeed bad, at least to the extent that this generation of stars used them.

We all have a bunch of organs which are single-point-of-failures to our lives. It's crazy, I know.

>Stars are not in short supply because media is good at finding extreme talent and injecting them into our special moments.

Not as much these days and not of the same magnitude. When Carrie Fischer was made a star there were like half a dozen tv channels, movies and music releases were major events, and almost everybody heard the same songs on the radio or MTV (or Ed Sullivan etc before).

Now a song can be in the top 20 and most of the people might still have not heard it (being in top 20 takes much less units and attention is dispersed in micro-genres and 20000 different media outlets). We have 100x as much of everything on demand (including from other decades), internet, gaming, youtubing, social media, etc, all of which were not a thing back then.

>I guess we need to get used to the rapid loss of famous personalities in the future.

This one seemed overly tragic to me. My wife and I were in the theater watching Rogue One, along with many thousands world-wide, the night this happened. Unlike some other stars, she remained active and interesting and made her life story public record. She became relevant again since the new Star Wars movies, and not to spoil R1, I won't say more. She was more than likely going to be in the new Star Wars movie next year as well.

That said, we're seeing a lot of early deaths of celebrities lately. Mostly via the bum luck of cancer or heart disease[1] or, most commonly, the abuse of illegal and prescription drugs. A part of me thinks a lot of these characters were high-risk for ages and the odds finally caught up. I hope drug liberalization is in our future. At the very least it would help with harm reduction. Sadly, here in the states, the president-elect and the cabinet members he's picked are about as anti-drug as practically possible. Perhaps next election we'll get a POTUS and a congress that cares about ending the drug war, instead of fueling it.

[1] Some of which is caused by cocaine abuse decades before. Sadly, even going 'clean' for a long time doesn't undo damage.

For me, Fisher was one of the early female stars to begin speaking smartly and frankly about her own life. Rather than self-absorbed, this seemed to be part of her relating to other people and to her/our contemporary world.

There's a relatively small subset of stars I consider -- in some semi-unconscious and not thoroughly deliberated fashion, on my part -- to be central to the shift by at least a certain portion or segment of Hollywood et al. towards a more honest and open -- and interesting -- self-perspective and communication.

Like Craig Ferguson with his "Late Late Show", speaking to his own addiction and flying his crazy flag. Hollywood's still Hollywood, and its elite still have their privilege. But some of them have started talking in public like real people, and using their celebrity to put the light on real concerns -- concerns they themselves share, rather than some "charity effort" or preachiness from on high -- nor self-absorbed whining. Maybe.

Anyway, I always found this part of Fisher -- when I happened to catch a bit of it -- at least as interesting as what she did at 19 and into her early 20's.

People write about fantasies like Star Wars, but now also the mysterious girlfriend of Joliet "Jake" Blues has passed away.

Yes, the big cohorts of baby boomers are now getting older and we'll see more obituaries.

Just for correctness' sake, and to engage in utterly unnecessary and ultimately meaningless pedantry, it's the "Joliet" that should be in quotes. "Joliet Jake" was Jake Blues' nickname, taken from his frequent home away from home, Joliet Prison/Correctional Facility.

Thanks, yes, I mis-typed. And originally, I think the names are related to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joliet_Army_Ammunition_Plant in Elwood, south of Joliet, Illinois.

She was a prepper pin-up before either prepper or its older incarnation "survivalist" (Think Burt Gummer in Tremors) were known to the language. "I remained celibate for you." in all black with an AR15. Not a bad runner-up to her scene as Jaba's concubine.

People aren't dying any more rapidly. You're just getting older, so you're starting to notice the famous people you looked up to in your formative years dying off.

What you write doesn't make much sense actually. Let's say the parent is of age X. If what you say was the case, then we would be having this conversation every year, for people of X-1, X-2, X-3 years that are also on HN (and of course generally on the internet).

But it's mostly 2016 that's being talked about in such way.

If a 40 year old can "start to notice" that now, then a 45 year old could have "noticed" it 5 years ago. Didn't we have older people coming to the realization you present in 2012? Or 2008? Etc.

Either celebrity deaths is something like a probability distribution where big clusters can and do happen.

Or perhaps it's mostly that most mass media stars were created in an age when TV was getting widespread use (50s and 60s and onwards) and so they approach the end of their lives as we move on.

Eh, that's not true. It's more of an issue that there are more famous people now. I'll be honest, I don't know most of the people I see pop up on sites about them dying (I suck at names), all I know is they are a star. I notice there are more are coming up in media, though.

"Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not." -Master Yoda

May the Force be with you Princess

Source: a Reddit comment [1]

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/5kkzmo/comment/dbon...

That... hit way harder than it should. Thank you.

She is one with the Force, the Force is with her.

source: the comments in that thread.

> source: the comments in that thread

... and the new Rogue One movie. If you haven't seen it -- it is worth watching.

Watched two days ago. Lovely, I really liked it.

I thought it sucked. Sure it's pretty and it's StarWars universe, but I would have been happy to not see it.

Except it's blatantly unrealistic.

Death is not 'a part of life', but a nuisance. Not all species 'die' (e.g. jellyfish, hydra, possibly lobsters, flatworms).

And 'the Force' is fictional and does not apply to Carrie Fisher.

As long as we have our species, it is enevitable we will be achieving immortality.

My point being - every death is a tragedy.

>And 'the Force' is fictional and does not apply to Carrie Fisher.

Its a metaphor for spirituality, and its pretty obvious that the strict deterministic materialist worldview is far from proven and that many people have spiritual beliefs that they feel 100% justified as having.

Not everything is horrible because we don't have immortality. If anything, we'll hit our extinction event well before then, assuming its even possible for complex mammals to have. No, we're not flatworms and can't have the aging solutions of flatworms.

I think its okay to feel comforted by death. When my dad died, it hurt, but I was happy his suffering has ended. I was happy he had a long life and raised three boys who loved him. You absolutely can accept and even welcome death in some ways. Life isn't all roses and chocolates. Death is currently the only solution we have to terminal suffering, for example.

Science (I will use "science" as shortcut for "deterministic materialist worldview") is not "proven": it offers (falsifiable) explanations to observable phenomena, and it does not concern itself with as-of-yet non explainable phenomena. It accepts, and happily adopts, corrections.

People have spiritual beliefs when they try to explain things that they can not understand. Other people abuse this by telling them that they have special knowledge and that they can explain those phenomena, or even more subtle, that there is somebody out there who can explain it to them, at some point, in some manner. All this without providing the slightest chance of falsification, meaning basically they can assert whatever they like.

So in my eyes, no, people are not really justified in having those beliefs: they could just as well accept that certain things are (now, and possibly forever) unknowable.

Except science doesn't support a basic Newtonian deterministic world. When you factor in relativity and quantum mechanics your worldview can't be purely a deterministic machine anymore.

You stated that the explanation we have is deterministic, I didn't. The explanation given by science is still falsifiable, though, which is what characterizes it. Other explanations ("beliefs") are completely arbitrary.

That said, relativity has nothing intrinsically non-deterministic about it [1], and whether quantum mechanics is deterministic or not is open to debate [2].

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indeterminism#Classical_and_re...

[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_quantum_mec...

>Except it's blatantly unrealistic. Death is not 'a part of life', but a nuisance.

The two notions are orthogonal. Nuisances of every kind are regular parts of life.

Death is change. Anyone who's witnessed the slow mental decline of a loved one knows that death is not black and white. Death is no more tragic than any other change--what was, is no more, and has transformed into something new. It is tragic only insofar as we resist accepting its ineluctability.

Sorry, it has not transformed into something new. Life has stopped and any residual potential has been lost. Death is nothing but pain and loss. If we can overcome it someday, it'll cause massive social disruption but massive long-term benefit.

While relative immortality (i.e. no death of natural causes) holds many opportunities for positive change (such as eliminating a short-sightedness and 'repetition'[0] of history due to our individually limited perception of history with a ~70-year horizon), I can only seem to imagine a world where death can be overcome as a dystopia rather than an utopia. The same forces that drive human conflict now will still exist and I think worsen.

If it's a procedure and not inherited, either it goes along with technology supplying humanity with cheap nigh-unlimited energy and thus space travel, uploading of minds or it's a two-caste world in which the same immortal persons hold the mortal masses at bay with any means necessary. If it's immortality for all (say through a virus that spreads naturally), it's a world where people have to be naturally sterile and only the priviledged get to have children, you get to wait thousands of years before you can procreate due to a place being free because of accidental deaths or no one gets to have children (but a governing body through technical means, arifical wombs).

Also, I can imagine relative immortality would render global nuclear war an inconvenience, with proper protection you could maybe wait out the aftermath and start again?

[0] "history doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes"

I have to respectfully disagree with you here. Death is most definitely NOT nothing but pain and loss. For those living in chronic pain, it is release. For those of us who manage to live our lives forgetting those who have hurt us as a coping mechanism, death provides an opportunity to grieve properly, when it was not possible in life. Residual potential lives on in the survivors ability to find inspiration in the lives of those long-since dead. Would you argue that Einstein's residual potential has been lost, if his work and his legacy is still inspiring people to explore the limits of human knowledge?

Our triumph over death will be met with a similar awe as our successful invention of the hedonovat, a device that suspends a living creature in goo while supplying everything it needs to live forever and supplying sensory inputs of nothing but pleasure and happiness.

Einstein's residual potential has been lost, because he is dead. He was still writing papers in 1955, when he died. If he was still alive, I hope he would still be publishing.

The idea that "residual potential lives on in others" is irrelevant - there should be no need to die to inspire someone else. Moreover, even if inspired by Einstein, no-one will not produce exactly the same work as Einstein would have, had he lived. So that notion is refuted, and would become ever more definitively so over the accumulated years and contributions of an indefinite lifespan.

Solving the problem of death includes removing the overwhelming preference for death in cases where it is the only relief from a terrible quality of life, so your chronic pain example gets swept aside.

The is no such thing as a "hedonovat" and your depiction of it sounds frankly ridiculous. Hoping to enable an indefinite human lifespan with a high quality of life is not ridiculous.

Death is only loss and pain.

The hedonovat was a construct of the American pragmatist John Dewey to understand at a relatively simple level, what motivates people.

Why would you want to live forever? The human condition is predicated on birth and death. As an academic exercise, I think birth without death would be a bit like moving from a northern climate to a southern climate, where work ethic goes out the window because there is no season in which work cannot be done (winter).

If we live forever, at what point do we taste the urgency of living?

Condolences to her family and to the wider Star Wars community.

On a film-related note: I'm assuming any role she might've had in Episode 8 might've already been shot since the film is in post production, but given that she's passed away and (I figure) Leia almost certainly won't be recast, how might Disney rejigger the storyline going forward? Furious 7 handled Paul Walker's death through CG and the use of Paul's brother to stand in for missing shots, but that was to close out a single film rather than to adjust for broader plot gaps in an overarching series.

Maybe CG will be good enough to keep casting dead actors?

The face2face[1] tech looks pretty convincing to me and it already works in real-time (which isn't necessary for films) and you have plenty of old footage of them.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohmajJTcpNk

It wasn't really good enough in Rogue One, but of course will be getting better.

Personally, I hope that never really becomes popular. Culture is already far too backwards looking and nostalgia filled for my taste. I'd hate for us to get stuck using dead actors providing something mimicking a performance.

Far more interesting will be the possibility of wholly CGI actors with artificial vocaloid voices. That'll be a ways off since a voice actor would be cheaper.

> I'd hate for us to get stuck using dead actors providing something mimicking a performance.

It's funny to think about it now, but Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness were the two "big name" actors in Star Wars, and provided some of the best acting in the entire series. The look on Alec Guinness' face when he mentioned Luke's father being his good friend said more than the accumulated total of prequel movies and spinoffs could ever hope to.

As experienced professionals (with experience working in low budget action films in Peter Cushing's case) they added a lot of nuance to and took ownership of their roles that I doubt face-swapped actors will have the authority to for a long time, if ever. To be honest, it feels kind of weird to me that they are resurrecting an actor who has been dead for such a long time.

Having said that, I think the actual technology is good enough for de-aging when the actual actor can give a performance; realistic CGI replacements for actual people have been improving since 2009 when a cameo by THE Terminator was believable enough (somewhat because it conveniently got its face blown off immediately). Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy was not bad: http://www.danplatt.com/?cat=91, and you won't notice the de-aged actors in the latest Marvel movies unless you are actively looking for them.

> It wasn't really good enough in Rogue One

I went to Rogue One with 8 people. 3 could tell me which prominent character was CG when asked. And those 3, it was because they knew the actor was diseased.

>It wasn't really good enough in Rogue One, but of course it will still be getting more use.

> That'll be a ways off since a voice actor would be cheaper.

Fox will probably beg to differ.

Neither of my parents realized Peter Cushing was played via CG while watching Rogue One, so while it was terribly distracting to me, it's apparently pretty successful.

I noticed it during his first scene, but either my suspension of disbelief won out of they got better tech as the movie progressed, because it looked totally natural later.

Of course, I was expecting to notice it. If I hadn't known about it, maybe it would have gone right by me.

I wasn't expecting it, as I tried to remain ignorant of details before seeing, but I spotted it quickly. I struggled with it momentarily, though, thinking to myself, "Wait. He's dead, right? This looks a bit off." My boys, 13 and 17, lean over simultaneously and say, "Totally fake." It still looked digital later, but I think we cared less because we'd settled it in our minds. Young Leia felt more obviously digital than Tarkin, though.

In the first appearance it felt more like the scene was abruptly adjusted in terms of lighting and exposure to make up for the rendering of Cushing's face on the actor. It definitely got harder to notice in subsequent scenes.

But once you figure out something is out of place, you can't break that thought process.

I personally didn't realize he was fake until after. Possible because Tarkin was so stoic his face barely moves. Leia looked a but unnatural but it didn't ruin it for me.

Agreed. Though I've long been a star wars fan, i.e. not a CGI snob ;)

The weirdest thing about Leia was her smile...I mean that she smiled at all. Real Leia would've told the guy to shut up and do his job.

There was a CGI young Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Salvation, in 2009. Admittedly, that scene did not require many facial expressions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7YYfgx_cHo

A CG solution is unlikely - it's doable for a tiny bit part but not for a major character. Technically it might be possible to pull it off (and this will certainly be the case in years to com e- by next decade you'll be able to write your script and cast virtual actors scanned from existing movies. But I can't see the audience accepting a digital puppet of a character they're intimately familiar with.

Much more likely that part of Episode 8 would be reshot to kill her character off and leave the rebels at a nadir. For example if there's any scenes of her traveling from A to B, just reuse part of that material and blow the ship up as it approaches its destination. Reshooting to solve story problems in post is quite common and losing the leader of the rebel alliance is the sort of narrative problem that would fit right in with the series' ethos.

I think Rogue One has shown that actors from the original series, dead or alive, are fair game.

Most likely by GC replacement. They already did this with young Leia in Rogue One, which also prominently starred Grand Moff Tarkin played by GC stand-in, as Peter Cushing, actor who portrayed the character, passed in 94

Perhaps a tasteful hologram?

You didn't see Rouge One? There's an actor who's been dead for 20 years. Carrie Fisher didn't play her part.

And it looked bloody awful! Talk about uncanny valley!

As a counterpoint, when my wife and I saw Rogue One we were both impressed that they managed to find somebody that looks just like Tarkin from the original film. I had no idea he was CG until reading about it after the fact.

I also was impressed with Tarkin, but once I realized what was going on, I saw the flaws. That said, for casual fans, they may not even notice because it took the realization of "Hey this guys dead" to open my eyes to it.

That said, the CG Leia was poorly executed, which was a surprise considering how well Tarkin was done. She really looked like a video game character. I would have preferred showing her head covered by her scarf and only showing her hands, like her intro in Episode 4. Maybe the production was worried casual fans wouldn't know who it was if they didn't show the face and goofy side-buns?

The main problem I had with Tarkin was that the facial scanning was obviously done very late in life - the cheeks were extremly gaunt, and, well, corpse-like.

That is how I would describe Peter Cushing's appearance: http://i.onionstatic.com/avclub/5533/98/16x9/960.jpg

Yeah I noticed this too. He looks older in R1 instead of younger.

He should look the same age because it literally takes place days before the original movie. His footage was take from the original movie.

No it wasn't.

It was CGI over a mo-capped live actor.

I was thinking the younger characters are probably harder to do because they can't hide the flaws anywhere. Leia was very creepy in Rogue One, but it didn't even occur to me that Peter Cushing had died 20 years ago until after I finished watching the movie. His recreation was very good.

I thought it looked like a PS4 cutscene tbh. I think if you play video games then you're primed to notice the facial animation techniques.

Yes, I couldn't help but feel like they were very well rendered video game characters surrounded by live actors, and I had to force myself back into the movie. I still have no idea what happened in the first scene Tarkin appears in.

I think this is why my two teenagers noticed it immediately when he first appeared. They instantly recognized being in a cutscene. It took me an extra second to go through an internal "Wait, he's dead, right?" moment.

I suspect some people have different levels of sensitivity here.

I certainly didn't notice it was CG while I was watching the film. Nor did my wife, who was watching it with me.

I didn't notice it either. I would also be willing to bet that the majority of people who say his recreation was poorly done only say so because of having prior knowledge about the actor being deceased.

I thought Tarkin looked a bit creepy (in a bad way; the scriptwriters captured his ghastly Lawful Evil personality beautifully, and the voice actor (Guy Henry, who I've never heard of) did a masterful job).

But Mons Mothra looked fine, and I didn't get to see enough enough of Leia to tell --- and the other CGI actors I didn't know were CGI and completely failed to notice.

So it's definitely getting better. This was no _Polar Express_.

For what it's worth, Mon Mothma was played by an actress cast for Revenge to play Mothma (who was only seen in deleted scenes from that), and ended up aging to nearly the look of Caroline Blakiston in Return.

No CGI trickery here.

Oh, huh.

Well, that does explain why she looked so realistic!

You probably only thought that because you knew ahead of time. Did you also notice the two rebel pilots who were CG?

Yes but it was "CGd" onto another actor.

No it wasn't. What are you talking about?


It was the other way around. They found the old footage of the actors, and "CGd" the new cockpit etc. onto them.

I didn't know ahead of time. I just thought at the time that "Man, that looks really bad", and then I read up on it afterwards, and it all clicked.

I thought he looked amazing when still and I didn't realize right away what was going on. It was when he started moving his face and walking that it became obvious. There's still a long way to go in making human motion appear more natural. It's still too "smooth" when rendered.

Awful news. 60 is young, but as Fisher herself has noted, she's lived a pretty hard life when it came to drugs and alcohol. Her reported weight loss regiment for Star Wars VII couldn't have helped [0]

I'm glad she lived long enough to get her new memoir out. Sounds like a must-read, with her affair with Harrison Ford being the least interesting part of how she dealt with Star Wars at the age of 19 http://themuse.jezebel.com/carrie-fisher-fucks-han-solo-figh...

[0] http://www.businessinsider.com/carrie-fisher-pressured-to-lo...

"To lose the weight, she watched what she ate and exercised more."

Watching caloric intake and exercising tends to decrease your chances of heart attack.

I addressed that in a longer comment here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13265439

tldr: Fisher had plenty of experience in losing weight, even being Jenny Craig's spokesperson in 2011. For her to have been publicly denigrating TFA at the time of its release (even before it, IIRC), doesn't make it sound like it was the healthy kind of weight loss:


"They might as well say get younger, because that's how easy it is."

I really doubt "getting fitter" increased the likelihood of a heart attack! If anything that probably gave her more time...

As an aside, she played a character who had forgone the luxuries of "being a princess" for a life living in the field with the troops, fighting or training every day. I am not into this Hollywood body-shaming crap at all, but a character who lived that lifestyle would look tough and lean.

> I really doubt "getting fitter" increased the likelihood of a heart attack!

Weight loss != getting fitter. You can be an unhealthy weight.

Not sure if this was the case though.

Unless she was taking stimulants to lose weight, it would prevent here from having a heart attack. (Dumb idea to do but they're used for that)

Viseral fat is the biggest issue with being overweight. Organs have to work harder because of it.

From the BI article, it sounds like Fisher found it to be a bit extreme, but obviously as a contracted actor in an upcoming movie, she wasn't going to explicitly say so. She most definitely wouldn't be saying if she were doing illegal drugs to maintain that weight:

"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."

Keep in mind that she's no stranger to weight loss regimens, something she's probably been used to through her peak acting days. In fact, she was Jenny Craig's spokesperson in 2011 and claimed to have lost 50 pounds at that time. The 35 pounds for TFA was either in addition to that, or a swinging of the pendulum since 2011.


It depends how much time she had to lose 35 pounds for TFA. If she was complaining that much about it publicly around the time of the movie, it doesn't sound like it was the sustainable kind of weight dropping, at any age. The logic that her weight loss regimen may have saved her life seems counterintuitive...TFA was just a few years ago, and since then, she's probably had to keep the regimen up for VIII. If this weight loss helped her, are you suggesting she was at death's door at the age of 55, until having committed to appearing in TFA? I guess it's pointless to argue causality...for all we know, the heart attack was a freak thing unrelated to weight loss or gain.

As a side note, I find astonishing that she says she was asked to lose 10 pounds to get to 95 for the original trilogy. I had to cut roughly that percentage of body weight for wrestling and that wrecked me, even though most of the weight was lost through extreme exercise and forced dehydration.

This is sad. My condolences to her family and friends. At least this was after the Star Wars: Rogue One movie.

Edit: I think the downvotes misunderstood the intent of my comment. I'm glad she was able to enjoy the new Star Wars movie, and I'm glad her friends, fans, and family also were able to enjoy it without mourning.

>At least this was after the Star Wars: Rogue One movie.

huh? why would that matter?

> huh? why would that matter?

Well, it's nice that she lived long enough to see the part that her character played in the movie, and that her family was able to enjoy it for a brief time without her death casting a pall over it.

Well put. She was able to enjoy the new movie, and so were her friends, fans, and family. It would be even sadder had she not gotten a chance to enjoy a new installment to a franchise she has contributed so much to.

It's just a movie. It's like that old saying, "No body every said on their death bed, 'I wish I had spent more time in the office.'

But she was an actor; this was the thing that she chose to spend her life doing, and something she loved doing. She wasn't collating expense reports - she was doing something very creative, with like-minded people, to create something enjoyed by millions of people world-wide.

I bet there are plenty of actors who said, on their death bed, "I wish I had spent more time on stage".

Someone else played that part. It was done with cg.

Really? An aging actress might not be too happy seeing the highlight of her career replaced by a combination of stand-in teenagers and cgi.

Fisher has always seemed to have a mature, nuanced take on what the role of Leia meant in her life. Both a love that she got her life transformed, coupled with the bemused resentment of people's expectations and the reality of being an aging actress. Hard to imagine she was terribly bitter about Rogue One.


When some moviegoers complained on social media about how much older she looked in “The Force Awakens” than when she had last played the character more than three decades earlier, she retorted on Twitter with her typical sharp wit, “Please stop debating about whether or not I aged well. Unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings.”...

...“It's not always fun, but it’s certainly life-changing,” she told The Times last year. “I have been Princess Leia exclusively. It’s been a part of my life for 40 years…. I’m like the diplomat to a country that I haven’t been to yet. I am that country.”

What a contracted actor says in interviews should always be taken with a grain of salt. These are professionals.

Have you even seen a Carrie Fisher interview? She doesn't have many filters in what she says :)

I doubt this is an issue since everyone knows that no one can replace Carrie Fisher as Leia.

Except for the younger generations for whom rogue1 might be their first sw movie. I run into kids every day who dont know the originals. It makes me feel very old.

This is sad. For Star Wars fans, and for her friends and family, but the worst part is Carrie's mother, Debbie Reynolds, is still alive at 84.

Sad to say Debbie Reynolds has passed away, the day after her daughter.


There was a great interview with Carrie on Fresh Air last month as she promoted her memoir. She had a difficult relationship with the press over the decades, but in this interview she came across as a funny, caring, and interesting person. Take some time to listen to it: http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/2016/11/28/503602884/f...

Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter - Yoda

I really thought she was gonna pull out of it this time. Geez.

Her book Wistful Drinking was very good, funny, and sad. Recommend, particularly the audiobook since she narrates herself.

[edit: what kind of person down votes a book written by the deceased?]

Source, minus The Verge content regurgitation:


I thought all planes had to have on board defribillators?

AEDs (defibrillators) are only good for specific types of cardiac conditions.

Since they were performing CPR on her, it's likely she had a very weak or no heartbeat (asystole), which defibrillators are no good with.

Defibrillators are only good when your heart is working erratically, not when it doesn't work at all.

Defibrillators are used in cases of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. These are lethal heart rhythms where the heart is either quivering uselessly, or beating too fast to allow the heart to fill with blood between beats. In both of those cases, the patient will have no pulse. A defibrillator will never shock someone who has a pulse (weak or otherwise).

Asystole is when there is no electrical activity in the heart. You are correct that that asystole cannot be shocked, but it definitely won't result in a 'weak' heartbeat (nor should you do CPR on someone with a weak pulse).

> nor should you do CPR on someone with a weak pulse

Absolutely untrue. CPR is recommended by the AHA for anyone who isn't breathing, regardless of whether they have a pulse [0].

By "she may have had a weak pulse", I mean that she may have had a weak pulse that wasn't felt. That's not asystole technically, but it results in the same treatment.

Emergency situations are, understandably, high-adrenaline scenarios and mistakes get made. Even professionals aren't great at detecting carotid pulses properly all the time [1].

> In both of those cases, the patient will have no pulse

Absolutely untrue as well. Only VF is pulseless. VT can present both ways [2].

0: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/122/18_suppl_3/S640

1: http://www.emsworld.com/article/10320480/the-vital-signs-par...

2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventricular_tachycardia

Neither statement is untrue... You're absolutely correct that the AHA doesn't recommend a pulse check for lay people. But if you know they have a weak pulse, then clearly you did a pulse check, and CPR would not be indicated.

VT with a pulse is not defibrillated, it is cardioverted. If someone is being defibrillated, they are either in VFib or pulseless VTach. In either case, no pulse. Do not ever, ever, ever defibrillate someone with a pulse.

I hate to get into an internet pissing match, but I think this is important (especially so if you're a healthcare professional, because this obviously has ramifications for you). Still, I really have no desire to argue with strangers on the internet, so this is the last I'll say about this:

Both are untrue.

> But if you know they have a weak pulse, then clearly you did a pulse check, and CPR would not be indicated.

Re-read the AHA guidelines I linked to. CPR is indicated for apnea or agonal respiration. Pulse or not.

You are absolutely supposed to do CPR for someone with a pulse if they aren't breathing, because as you probably recall if you're not breathing your pulse is going to disappear shortly anyway.

> VT with a pulse is not defibrillated

Right. You said (emphasis mine):

> Defibrillators are used in cases of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. These are lethal heart rhythms where the heart is either quivering uselessly, or beating too fast to allow the heart to fill with blood between beats. In both of those cases, the patient will have no pulse.

Which is untrue, as you noted: VT isn't always treated by defibrillation. And, as I noted, VT doesn't always present with no pulse. The distinction is important, because someone reading that paragraph may be confused and think "VT is always treated with defibrillation". Which is absolutely untrue.

I am a paramedic and an AHA CPR instructor.

We are making orthogonal points...

If someone is being defibrillated, then they have no pulse. The person using the AED may not know that, but the AED does.

You initially said:

> Since they were performing CPR on her, it's likely she had a very weak or no heartbeat (asystole), which defibrillators are no good with.

You seem to be saying that if a person doesn't have a pulse, they must be in asystole, and don't need a defibrillator, which is dangerously untrue. The only reason you do CPR is to preserve the heart and brain long enough to use a defibrillator. In fact, the only circumstances under which someone should be defibrillated are certain types of pulseless cardiac activity.

Places I've seen defibrillators used when there was no pulse... in the last month:

Luke Cage

Dr. Strange

hm, need to call Marvel about this

Television and film are particularly bad about this. For obvious reasons. It's more exciting to shock someone with paddles than it is to pump them with 1mg of epinephrine.

can't we have ephipens then instead or as well

Defibrillators do mostly nothing for heart attacks.

The term "heart attack" is often mistakenly applied to cardiac arrest. Defibrillation is only useful in (some) cases of cardiac arrest.

Unlike TV would have you believe, if you reach a stage where you need resusciation, the likeliest outcome is an uncomfortable quick death, not years of high quality life.

I'm painfully aware of that. Grandpa went quietly away in his slept in his bed at the venerable age of 83, but granma panicked, first responder on the scene overreacted and resusitated the heck out of him, so he spent two more years of terrible suffering at a nursing home with cerebral palsy.

I'm sorry to hear that. It must be quite hard to decide what's the correct action in such a stressfull and dire situation.

May she rest in piece. I also thought she was going to pull through this. A loss for the film industry but moreso for her family :-(

So nothing can be done for someone with a weak heart? Perhaps the medical team was waiting for a transplant?

She may have experienced a lot of brain damage, so even a functioning heart wouldn't keep her alive.

Thanks, this agrees with what I read elsewhere.

She has spoken publicly about her struggles with cocaine addiction. Significant cocaine use can do irreversible damage to the heart (I'm not suggesting that there was any recent use, just that use earlier in her life may have impaired her heart's ability to cope with the aging process).

I think the short answer is sadly no. Heart attacks are one of the more common causes of death. Resuscitation isn't always possible.

I am genuinely heartbroken. Rest in peace. :(

Rest in peace.

With George Michael passing, and now Carrie Fisher - it makes me think of the rule of '3'. It always crops up.

What rule of 3? Tons of other celebrities died this year.

As a group within a short timespan.

Stop with the 2016 nonsense... get a grip. Death is the next baby-boomer surge. Because there are so many celebrities in this group, we'll see daily death announcements in the coming years that will make 2016 look like a picnic.

I think everyone understands this. It's simply a way to grieve for the many things that some us think went horribly wrong in 2016, including -- but not limited to -- the deaths of some high profile and well-loved artists, musicians and actors. Personally I'm also lumping some political events in 2016's trainwreck.

Call it dark humor. No-one truly believes 2016 is sentient and murdering people.

Thank you. And honestly if you look at wikipedia's notable deaths and IMDB's, 2016 was actually a light year. 2015 and 2014 both had more per day.

I think what happened was that Bowie and Alan Rickman both died in the first two weeks of 2016 so the meme started then and everything after was just confirmation bias.

I'd say it a mix of confirmation bias and the number of high profile events with negative correlation that have occurred (that aren't celebrities/fame worthy individuals dying).

Personally its the number of outright confusing/heartbreaking global events such as Aleppo, Brexit, the Trump election/"presidency," that has made the year seem particularly unbearable. Losing Carrie Fisher, George Michael, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, among others just gives more reflection to how bad it's felt, not if its actually a bad year statistically.

As a friend put it more eloquently, Fuck 2016.

Really getting sick of this meme. There hasn't been anything particularly special about this year. Say nothing about years being arbitrary means by which to group deaths of people.

We are not robots. Perceptions matter.

> There hasn't been anything particularly special about this year.

For you, perhaps.

Actually, for me this year has been one of the greatest years of my life. So to see people say "fuck <the year in which my son was born>" over B-list celebrities, yes, it can be a bit of a problem.

Where were all these not-Star-Wars Carrie Fisher fans before she died? Where were these George Michael fans before he died? This is not to say they aren't deserving of being mourned. This is to say, the people who take 5 seconds to post on social media are transparent and only cheapen the mourning of these people's real families.

My daughter was born this year, too, which was a bright ray of sunshine among the clouds.

> Where were all these not-Star-Wars Carrie Fisher fans before she died? Where were these George Michael fans before he died?

I don't know; where are you? Whose death would sadden you, and why are you not praising them and cheering on their accomplishments right now?

People who take 5 seconds to post on social media are mourning. What do you expect them to do? Shave their eyebrows, write essays, get tattoos? I'd wager that George Michael's and Carrie Fisher's families are probably buoyed by the support they see for their family members, and for the outpouring of love for them.

Sorry if our grieving process, or our celebration of someone's life, is slightly inconvenient for you.

>So to see people say "fuck <the year in which my son was born>" over B-list celebrities, yes, it can be a bit of a problem.

Because it's all about you? People who say that don't know whether your son was born, and could not care less.

>Where were all these not-Star-Wars Carrie Fisher fans before she died? Where were these George Michael fans before he died?

Buying millions of CDs for decades and filling in stadiums?

Heck, Wham! are even presented as the "greatest band ever" in Deadpool, a 2016 movie.

> So to see people say "fuck [2016]" over B-list celebrities

This isn't the only reason people are saying "fuck 2016."

> As a friend put it more eloquently, Fuck 2016.

I think "most" anyone who lived through the years 1914-1918 or 1939-1945 (and was >= 4 years old at the time) would beg to differ. The world was literally tearing itself to shreds, and I'm sure somewhere & time during WW2 it looked like there was no end in sight.

The lives lost this year (especially in places like Syria) and personal grief is immeasurable, but it can be important to keep perspective.

Your change of subject does nothing for me. It borders on Godwinning.

2016 man, 2016.

It hasn't been such a bad year, really.


The celebrity deaths have been rough, but I think the political success of racism, hate and fear has been at least equally depressing this year. It's been a bad year.

TL;DR "2016 has seen the largest number of famous people die"

I think items like this, which have no relationship to the VC or tech space, are complete noise on HN.

I understand that the culture of celebrity tickles a primitive part of our brains, and that it's impossible to prevent on a site like reddit. But it bothers me more than it should to see this drivel on a site driven by technophiles.

Why is this death any more significant than any other human being who wasn't lucky enough to be in show business?

Based on the comments and voting, though, I appear to be an extreme outlier in this opinion.

drivel on a site driven by technophiles

A lot of people became technophiles because of the cultural influence of films like Star Wars. Perhaps you haven't noticed how every new claim of holographic display technology, for example, is held up against the imaginary example from that film. Star Wars was unique for its time in presenting the future as combining both breathtakingly advanced technology with industrial decay and totalitarian oppression. The series also signaled a dramatic change in how women were portrayed on screen. The dominant communication medium has substantial power to shape society.

While the on-screen technology is fictional, the Star Wars series was also hugely innovative in terms of film production technology, giving rise to modern video editing software, sound design techniques, and many digital workflow techniques. It's had a massive impact on film technology and everything to do with it.

If this thread were about the effect of Star Wars on technology and tech culture, it would be on topic.

But the death of a celebrity is exactly the sort of mainstream, intellectually vacant news that this site is supposed to avoid.

The death of a woman who was chained in a bikini to a pretend space slug gets this much attention, but the death of the woman who confirmed the existence of dark matter in the actual, not fictional universe is barely being discussed, on what's supposed to be a forum that values substantive intellectual content over trivia.

> The dominant communication medium has substantial power to shape society.

yeah, that's kind of my complaint. we give these individuals an oversized amount of influence over public decisions. should jenny macarthy really be the one who advises us about vaccinations? IMO: no. And if jenny mccarthy doesn't deserve reverence, why does carrie fisher? because her role was in a different film? that doesn't even make sense.

HRH Prince William ‏@DukeCambridgeUK Condolences from the House of Windsor to the House Organa. RIP HRH Princess Leia.


That's not a real account...

People can't even tell when a Twitter account is fake (even when the bio clearly says "fictional") and yet somehow people think that we can trust the masses to discern fake news. Ugh.

Terrifying, isn't it.

The most terrifying part (to me), is that those people vote!

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