There are many things I would like to say about Carrie Fisher.
My words could never do her justice, though I will try.
Of her most well-known character, Leia:
Leia was far more than a princess with cinnabon-shaped hair. She was the lone female heroine in the panoply of men -- the kind of woman that I, as a tween and young teen when the first Star Wars trilogy was released, could aspire to be: defiant, confident, willing to take risks for her cause. The woman who, despite being enslaved and stuffed into a golden bikini, would choke her oppressor with the chain that bound her. She was an intimate part of The Rebellion, and instrumental to its success. Brava, Leia.
When I reached the rocky grounds of middle age, Leia was there again: a general in the new wars. She was no young, nubile princess as in days of yore; she was older, as I am older, and looked her age. I felt a bittersweet kinship with her, both of us being Women Of A Certain Age. Leia had lost so much -- her son to evil, her husband to her son's own hand, her brother to who-knows-where. Yet, she persevered. She never turned to the Dark Side. She remained strong. She was, still, my heroine.
And what can I say, of the woman herself:
Carrie Fisher was eloquent, witty, clever; a marvelous writer; an outspoken advocate of distigmatizing mental illness; a Giver-of-Zero-F*cks about what anyone else thought of her. Tremendous. Magnificent. Ever more, my heroine.
Godspeed, lovely, wonderful woman. And on behalf of women everywhere -- thank you.
Picture found here: