…a little girl sat in a darkened movie theater and watched a beautiful girl in white stand up to the bad guy dressed in black with a respiratory issue, talk back to the skinny-jowled Grand Moff Tarkin, wittily refer to the Wookie as a walking carpet and then go toe-to-toe with the cocky Han Solo.
That little girl then listened, over and over and over, to the cassette tapes of the movie, played the board game and dreamed of being the girl in white–standing up to the bullies in the world, fighting for the little guys, being stronger and smarter than the “rescuing heroes.”
That little girl grew up, went out into the world and made her way, always remembering the beautiful girl in white with the quick tongue and strong character.
The young woman had a loyal Golden Retriever, Sundance, who faithfully sat and watched the movies with her, when they were finally available on VHS tapes, continually marveling at the strengths of the heroine in white.
Along came a new little girl, introduced to the heroine in white by the little girl from long ago, now a mommy.
And the cycle began again.
Today’s little girl is growing up in a world where women are expected to be the heroine, where it’s normal for a woman to cheekily stand up to the bad guy in black and to then figure out how to rescue not just herself, but the band of inept males who came to rescue her in the first place. Today’s little girl assumes that women are the ones who do the rescuing, lead the Rebellion, command the fleet and save the galaxy.
The world lost a shining light this morning. The world lost a female heroine who was, yes, so much more than the beautiful woman in white fighting for the Rebellion against the evil Empire, but who will forever be remembered as Princess Leia Organa.
Carrie Fisher was a force unto herself, who enchanted a generation of youngsters, both girls and boys alike, as the fierce, cheeky, bright, beautiful, strong, brave Princess Leia. That generation went on to share her with their children, whose girls now grow up assuming women just are Princess Leia…fierce, cheeky, bright, beautiful, strong and brave.
My heart is heavy with sadness this night. I’ve cried many tears this day because this loss is so much more than the death of an actress. Princess Leia was, is, a phenomenon in her own right. Yes, Star Wars and all it entails is, well, I’m not sure how exactly to categorize it. It is a thing. A phenomenon I suppose. But Princess Leia aka Carrie Fisher was a phenomenon within the phenomenon. Enough of that word. I suppose I should dig out the thesaurus. Princess Leia just was. And Carrie Fisher made her so.
Anyone who knows me knows what a Star Wars fanatic I am. I am incredibly blessed that my dearest, most precious daughter picked up Sundance’s mantle and now shares this obsession with me. We have “Star Wars weekends” in which we watch all of the movies, in order. Quoting as we go. It drives the dear husband bananas. He doesn’t get it.
But he’s not a girl. And the heroine, the beautiful girl in white, wasn’t for him. Or the rest of the boys. She was for us, the girls. She was a force of nature, a force to be reckoned with, a force for good in the galaxy.
And now she is no more, except as captured, forever, on the screen.
May the Force be with you, always, Carrie Fisher. May you find peace and calm wherever you may be this night. Thank you for all of the wonderful things you’ve done throughout your much too short life–advocating for those with depression, baring your soul regarding your demons, living with the persona of Princess Leia that was larger than your own life.
May the Force be with us all as we venture forth into the coming days. The scrappy Rebels fighting against the evil Empire once more.