Carrie Fisher left this world today.
I usually don’t cry when a celebrity dies, but today’s news has hit me very hard.
I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since my teens. The science fiction genre has, for the most part, been a boys club. If there were female characters within the genre, they were mostly background players, love interests or damsels in distress with little to no storyline or voice of their own.
Princess Leia Organa of the planet Alderaan changed all that. She could have been the space version of Snow White, warbling a space version of “Someday My Prince Will Come” and waiting to be rescued. Instead Leia is a bad-ass, smart-mouthed leader who has no problem stepping up to the plate and doing what needs to be done.
At the time of the release of the original trilogy, Leia became a hero to girls and women looking for a role model. Nearly 40 years later, Leia’s presence as an empowered women has touched a new generation. She also proved that a woman can be strong and still find an equal partner who is worthy of her.
Without Leia, there wouldn’t be a Buffy Summers, Xena Warrior Princess, Rey, Jyn Erso, or any of the capable and smart-ass women who have inhabited the science fiction/fantasy genre since 1977.
While Carrie Fisher is known for the Star Wars films, her career was so much more than those films. She was a brilliant actress and one of the underappreciated writers of this era. Her last book, The Princess Diarist, was one of the best memoirs I’ve read in recent years. She was in real life, a smart-ass, butt kicking, no nonsense woman who had no problem putting a spotlight on the bullsh*t in Hollywood.
Not one to hide her own flaws, she was public about her battle with mental illness and drug abuse.
My prayers and thoughts go out to her family. She will be missed. Star Wars will never be the same without her.
Z”l Carrie Fisher. May your memory be a blessing.