The Force awakens but what happened to Carrie Fisher’s face?

carrie fisher

Like most people on the planet I’ve just seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Thankfully, it’s much better than the prequels and in the hands of accomplished director J.J. Abrams, it sticks to the humor and lightheartedness of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Prior to its release, much of the publicity focused on the original cast reuniting. It’s been over 30 years since we last saw them together and the actors have aged accordingly.

Harrison Ford at 73 is a grizzled but still convincing Han Solo.

Mark Hamill is a more somber, grey-faced Jedi, while Chewbacca and the droids C3PO and R2D2 look exactly the same.

Yet, I was startled and somewhat perplexed by the appearance of Carrie Fisher. Had Andy Serkis donned a motion capture suit to play her face? While Botox and plastic surgery are de riguer for any actress over 35 these days, Fisher’s skin was so shiny and flawless it could be mistaken for a new life form. Or one of those freaky aliens from the numerous bar scenes in the franchise.

Fisher admits that life is tough for an actress over 40 and that she’s grateful to be cast at all. Yet Mark Hamill is only several years older than Fisher and all he had to do was grow a beard and Harrison Ford didn’t have to do anything to his face at all.

Would it really have been too much for audiences to cope with an older (and fatter) Princess Leia? Shouldn’t midlife take its natural course? Does Leia have to retain a semblance of youth for people to care about her character?  And how can a 59-year-old face pulled taut and tight like a newborn be more convincing to audiences than the wrinkled skin and extra pounds of a late middle-aged woman?

If The Force has truly awakened, then it’s time for middle-aged actresses to catch up on their sleep.

Related post:
How Carrie Fisher can body shame Hollywood
Yoda’s top five casting suggestions for believable middle-aged women in Star Wars 8
Harrison Ford’s expert guide to avoiding career suicide

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About the author

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.



11 Comments


  1. Plastic surgery doesn’t seem to explain it. Her face looks like it’s been computer altered in The Force Awakens, though apparently they claim that’s not the case.

  2. Her appearance may have been related to her dentures more than plastic surgery. May she rest in peace.

  3. Whenever i see her, I cannot get over her mouth — she clearly got plastic surgery or injections into her lips to get a trout pout. She looks ridiculous with her perpetually puckered look. What plastic surgeon convinced these hollyweird types that trout pout is actually attractive? She complains about being viewed in sexist terms and then pays for a trout pout. Pathetic.

  4. Plastic surgery is hideous.

  5. Do people have to constantly comment and critisize women, especially actresses, on the way they look? She’s too fat, too thin, she’s had plastic surgery, she hasn’t had plastic surgery, she needs plastic surgery, etc, blah, blah. Stop and accept everyone for who they are! Rest in Peace Carrie Fisher.

    • Actresses should be allowed to age naturally rather than feel pressured into having plastic surgery to retain their career. So yes, it does matter.

  6. All these people “claiming to be fans of Carrie” yet here you are putting the boot in. So she had work done, doesn’t all of Hollywood. Yet another part of life where women have to be presentable. Men only have to shave their face and some even don’t bother doing that. It says a lot about a person when they come onto sites to merely be negative.

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