The Princess We Needed
By Rob Simmons
By now most of you will know of the tragic loss of Carrie Fisher, to the world of the geek, we mourn the loss of our princess. I have struggled with how to frame this into the written word, how do you describe the loss of one of your heroes? Make no mistake, she was in every way a hero. When we first met her she was smuggling the Death Star plans within Artoo. Then she watched her planet destroyed. She fought her way out of danger by jumping into the garbage shoot first. Fought off stormtroopers, then arrived back at base in time to plan an attack on the Death Star. She then leads the Alliance to Hoth, provides the confidence and leadership needed to break the blockade. Leads the cream of the Imperial Fleet through an asteroid field. Watches the man she loves frozen in carbonite. Fights her way out of Cloud City, saves the man she loves from an over grown slug, then kills said slug (I would too if I was forced to wear that outfit) helps to lead a team to Endor, fights off a legion of Imperial troops with a handful of people and oversized stuffed animals, and saves the Galaxy…until the First Order appears. (Repeat previous paragraph)
I know it’s a script, right? I mean she had to do all that stuff because that’s the way it was written, right? If you believe that you would be sadly missing on the human dimension that makes up Leia Organa, the character we all love WAS the essence of Carrie Fisher. Through her life she fought against bipolar disorder and drug addiction. She struggled with her celebrity status in a spiral of self destruction that had some regard her with pity, and others with contempt. Carrie Fisher though did not give up, nor did she seek the approbation or approval of her critics. She fought for herself. This force of personality rose beyond what they said she must be, to conquer insurmountable obstacles. The role she played fighting the Empire was a role that she lived in this life. Strong, vibrant, intelligent, witty, and caring. Her life is an example to us all. To take our life’s demons and stare them down. To breathe hope and light into our own lives and the lives of others. To inspire and teach and to give back to those who have given so much to us.
She gave us hope that the Rebellion would triumph over an evil willing to wipe out planets as a demonstration. Princess Leia was my first movie crush, and as I grew older and began to understand the path she rode, became more than a hero, she became a legend. A shining star in a galaxy far, far away, an image so bright that she transcends a galaxy full of beloved favorites. She was the integral force that bound our favorite trio of Rebel heroes, and even today, as we watch her films we can be awed once again that this young woman chose to play the role that she did. In a way that make us admire women for their courage, their capacity for defying insurmountable odds. For the caring and compassion they bring to our world, Carrie Fisher was not Princess Leia, Leia Organa was Carrie Fisher.
Rest in peace Carrie Fisher, know that you have my gratitude for what I have learned from you, not from bombastic or self congratulatory speeches. But with cutting wit and humor, and a capacity of loving your fans to the fullest. As Obi-Wan said to Luke, so I say to you. The Force will be with you…Always.