Remembering Carrie Fisher

"To me, she's royalty."
- Lor San Tekka, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It's hard to believe Carrie Fisher passed away this week, taken from us at the far too young age of 60. Like nearly everyone, I was first introduced to her through Star Wars though I've grown to greatly enjoy and admire the way in which she redefined herself after the popularity of Star Wars faded - as a novelist, a script doctor, a brutally honest advocate for mental health. And a totally engaging personality whenever she was interviewed.

Her role of Princess (and later General) Leia Organa defined for me - and probably my generation - a bad-ass princess. The story of the knight going to rescue the princess is an ancient one. But Star Wars gave us a new take on this story. Though captured by the bad guys at the start of the film, our princess was far from helpless. She hid the Death Star plans with R2-D2 and stood up to Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. She refused to betray the Rebellion no matter what the Empire did to her - even when Alderaan was threatened, all she would give them was an abandoned Rebel Base. When she was rescued she grabbed a blaster and fully participated in their escape from the Death Star. I never had a doubt that Princess Leia was just as competent as Han and Luke. And Carrie Fisher delivered to us that princess.

I'm glad she was able to find success after Star Wars and managed to find success and acclaim writing and to make a return to Star Wars. Her honesty in her challenges with bipolar disorder and drug addiction has helped lessen the stigma of mental illness. And, in accordance with her wishes, let it be known she drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.


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