Carrie Fisher will be remembered for many things: her iconic portrayal of Princess Leia, her work as a script doctor and writer, her efforts to destigmatize mental health issues — and her fiery wit. In 2005, Fisher showed just how witty she could be in her spot-on roast of George Lucas.
Fisher's speech took place as part of a ceremony honoring Lucas with the American Film Institute's life achievement award, which also included appearances by Fisher's Star Wars co-stars Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.
"Hi, I'm Mrs. Han Solo and I'm an alcoholic," Fisher's speech began. "I'm an alcoholic because George Lucas ruined my life. I mean that in the nicest possible way."
The ceremony-stealing speech strikes the perfect balance between reverence and humorous criticism, as Fisher celebrates Lucas' achievements while bemoaning the legacy that she would deal with for the rest of her life. On whether she and the rest of the cast and crew knew during the film's creation that Star Wars would be so successful, Fisher explained, "The only one who didn't know was George. We kept it from him because we wanted to see what his face looked like when it changed expression."
"George is a sadist," Fisher said in the speech. "But like any abused child wearing a metal bikini chained to a giant slug about to die... I keep coming back for more."
Fisher praised Lucas for creating "whole new worlds, populated by vivid, extraordinary characters" — and also for providing her, Ford and Hamill with "enough fan mail and even a small, merry band of stalkers" to keep them "entertained for the rest of [their] unnatural lives."
The Princess Leia actress even said that she "suppose[s]" she doesn't mind about the merchandising of her Star Wars character, as Lucas made Fisher into "a little doll that my first husband could stick pins into, [a] shampoo bottle where people could twist my head off and pour liquid out of my neck — 'Lather up with Leia and you'll feel like a princess yourself!' — and yes, the little Pez dispenser, so that my daughter Billie could pull my head back and pull a wafer out of my neck every time she doesn't want to do her homework."
Amongst the vast Star Wars merchandising, Fisher noted, Lucas even owned Fisher's own likeness, so that, Fisher joked, "all these years ... every time I look in the mirror, I have to send you a check for a couple of bucks."
However, Fisher did have some choice words for Lucas when it came to the female lead in the Star Wars prequels, Natalie Portman's Queen Amidala, and her diverse wardrobe in comparison to Leia's iconic white dress (and metal bikini). Lucas "had the unmitigated gall," Fisher said, "to let that chick, the new girl who plays my mother — Queen Amodillo or whatever her name is — she wears a new hairstyle and outfit practically every time she walks through a door!"
"I bet she even got to wear a bra," Fisher exclaimed, "even though you told me I couldn't, because there was no underwear in space!"
In the end, however, Fisher acknowledged that she was "only slightly bitter" because Lucas is "an extraordinary talent and let's face it, an artist, the like of which is seen perhaps once in a generation who helps define that generation — and who deserves every award I now spend the latter half of my Leia-late-in-life helping to hurl your way."
"And in conclusion," Fisher finished, "your honor, I hope I slept with you to get the job, because if not: Who the hell was that guy?"