Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Princess Leia, One with the Force

I hadn't planned on writing anything else until the New Year, but with the death of Carrie Fisher I guess there is a little more left in me.

Those of you who know me know that I am a Star Wars geek. I have been obsessed with it literally all of my life. By the time the third one (and by that I mean Return of the Jedi) came out, I was old enough to go to the theaters to see it with my friends. And I did. Twice. And I bought the soundtrack record. Literally, the sound track to the movie. It had the nearly complete script on the record. To this day, I can not only say the entire movie word for word, I can tell you when to flip the record over.

When I was growing up Star Wars (known now as A New Hope, but back then you could just say Star Wars and everyone knew you meant the first one) was on television at least once a year, and I always cajoled my parents into letting me stay up and watch it.

Star Wars captured my imagination like nothing has ever been able to do, before or since. I couldn't then nor now tell you why out of everything this is what resonated so strongly with me. But it did.

And there was Leia. No Disney Princess, she. Sure, she had to wait for some too-short storm trooper to open the door, but she didn't expect him to rescue her while she passively bit her hand in the background. Oh no. She took matters into her own hands, she took action. She was strong and "bossy" and beautiful and elegant and intelligent. She knew how to shoot a blaster and had no qualms crawling through the mud if that's what she needed to do.

About effin' time you got here, Shorty. What took you so long?

For a little girl who tended toward "bossy" (what we call little girls who know what they want and aren't afraid it get it), she was a breath of fresh air. Someone we could look up to even as we were being told to tone it down because good girls don't tell other people what to do.

Princess Leia was the older sister I would have followed around annoyingly if I'd been able to. I would have been into her makeup and playing dress-up in her royal robes. I would have begged her to show me how to shoot a blaster, and I would have had the biggest crush on her boyfriend Han.

This year, I think nearly every single one of us has lot some icon who defined their youth. Many of us more than one. It has been a heartbreaking year to see so many talents who changed our lives move on to the next level. It seems surreal to think that people we've never met could have such a deep, lasting impact on our very Selves... but they do. There is something in their creativity that matches whatever frequency we need boosting. They help us find our way, our voice, solace, peace, bravery... the list goes on.

It seems strange to think that losing someone like this could feel so personal, but it does. It feels as though a piece of you has died. That piece of their creativity that met you and became You at that moment... gone.  One can, I guess, be grateful for the time and the magic that we had. We carry it still.

But the world is now one Princess short. I hope everyone at the next level is prepared for the juggernaut that is Carrie Fisher. What a party that will be.

May the Force be with you, always.

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