Thursday, December 29, 2016
Death of a Princess
But I understand that for some of us, some names are special. For me, that was certainly true of Terry Pratchett, and now, it's true of Carrie Fisher - Princess Leia. She was a shining light in the Star Wars saga. Back in 1977 in the first movie, A New Hope, Princess Leia was so different to the princess in distress we'd seen in Disney. A prince comes and rescues her, they get married and live Happily Ever After. How refreshing to have a girl in white who is more than happy to rescue herself. I loved the scenes where she put Luke and Han into their respective places, and took over control. It was Leia who recognised the Millenium Falcon had been allowed to escape. She always had her eye on the bigger picture.
The messy love affair between Han and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back was a joy to watch, from the bickering in the ice tunnels of Hoth, to the bridge of the Falcon ("would it help if I got out and pushed?") to the declaration of love when Han is encased in carbonite.
Then we move on to the metal bikini in Return of the Jedi, and the wonderful scene where Leia sends Jabba on his way with the chain he'd used to harness her to him. And so it went. In the end the princess wins the heart of a scoundrel, and the Emperor is defeated.
In a way, the notion that Han and Leia would have a son that turned to the dark side was an obvious plot device. Not so obvious, but absolutely fitting, was that this turbulent relationship didn't last. But it was great to see Leia in her role as General Organa in The Force Awakens. It's been said by other people, but it rings so true. She'd lost her parents, her adoptive parents, her husband, her brother (who had effectively left her to it), and her son. Yet she kept on going, kept believing in the cause. And it seems that was true in her real life, too, fighting addiction and mental illness with honesty and openness.
Yes, a little part of me passed away with her. At least she will live on in the movies and the Star Wars galaxy. We'll get to see her one more time in SW8, and maybe again in CGI in SW9.
Vale, Carrie. Thank you for the magic. And I'll leave you with this - Best Han and Leia moments.