For so many fans of that galaxy far, far, away Carrie Fisher was inseparable from her most iconic role, Princess Leia Organa. The actor, who died of a heart attack Tuesday morning at age 60, shined in many other ways — her performances in other films like When Harry Met Sally, her one-woman shows, her mental health advocacy, and her love for a handsome french bulldog named Gary... to name a few. And while Fisher's death is devastating for all the above reasons and a zillion more, it can't be denied that we lost the perfect Leia, and were lucky to have her. This seems espeically true when looking at Fisher's original Star Wars audition tapes, which the internet has oh-so-graciously gifted the universe.
At the time of Fisher's audition she was only 19-years-old, but the poise and sass she adopted while playing a space princess was beyond her years. Even though the Fisher in the tape is not dressed in the go-to white dress and hairstyle, her intensity and American-British hybrid accent (that's how everybody sounds on Alderaan, duh) make her seem as regal and rebellious as Princess Leia. It truly feels like a role she was born to play. As she would later say in an ABC interview in 2015, "I got in character and I've never gotten out again."
If you close your eyes and just listen, the audition feels almost as polished as the actual movie. As Fisher says, "when R2 has been safely delivered to my forces, you'll get your reward, you have my guarantee," one can easily picture Princess Leia calmly (but a with a strong twinge of annoyance) explaining what needed to be done to an always-cynical Han Solo — while also attempting to make him feel guilty for being so selfish. Her intense eyes and clipped tone are everything. Fisher's performance is so strong, it seems like we're all aboard the Millenium Falcon together.
It's difficult to look at the footage of a teen-aged Fisher just on the cusp of a truly impressive and inspiring life now that she is gone. But as with all losses, it helps to remember the good times. We have Carrie Fisher to thank for an iconic female lead who would inspire a generation.