21.10.1956 – 27.12.2016
It is with great sadness that I write this blog post, regarding the passing of Carrie Fisher. Carrie was a great actress, writer and producer and had an immense impact on my life.
Carrie Fisher was from Hollywood royalty, and had a very successful and creative career both in front and behind the camera. Without neglecting her many achievements, there was one role that outshone all the others.
Of course, Carrie Fisher was particularly famous for playing Princess Leia in the original Star Wars movies. Anyone who knows me will know that I have been obsessed with Star Wars since I was five years old, so to lose someone who has been part of my life for so long has been heartbreaking.
The importance of the Leia character cannot be overstated. The Princess was no stereotypical damsel in distress – rather she was fiesty, confident and in control. She held a position of authority as a leader in the Rebel Alliance and was at the forefront of all the decision making and events. She was tough and skilled (ever see her miss with a blaster?) – but also showed compassion and humour.
All of those qualities were massively important and showed me – and other boys of my generation and since – that women could be strong, dynamic and powerful leaders. Leia was a role model for a generation, not just male or female.
Princess Leia was adored by women the world over and rightly so – she showed the girls that she could be just as brave and heroic as the guys. She was intelligent and committed and she stood up for what she believed in.
This character was embodied perfectly by Carrie Fisher. Carrie knew she was part of a big boys club and had fun with it. In doing do, she created a figure in popular culture who will be admired and respected for generations to come. Carrie was not without her demons – she would fight them constantly through out her life – but this tenacity was embodied in her portrayal of the Princess at the centre of the galaxy, fighting for a better life.
It’s very disheartening to note that I began my writing in 2016 with two memorial pieces for personal heroes who passed away. It looks like my last blog of the year will be about another.
So let’s remember what Carrie Fisher – and Princess Leia – represented to so many. Courage, faith in your beliefs, and the desire to make things better. Those are qualities that we will all do well to take with us into the future.