Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Passing of a Princess #CarrieFisher #StarWars

I'm a bit late to this, but between being offline and the shock, it's taking me a while to compose myself. For the last few days Princess Leia's theme has been running through my head - a piece that has always brought a lump to my throat - but now and forever a deeper sense of sorrow.

"I can't believe she's gone..."
When news broke of her heart attack, I feared the worst as I took to Twitter for updates. Despite a report of her condition being stable, the details did not make reassuring reading. 15 minutes to get a pulse? Surely brain damage even if she pulled through. I hoped and wished (because I do not pray) along with thousands of others, but our hopes were crushed. Our beloved Princess Leia passed on.

I count myself fortunate to have been at Star Wars Celebration Europe, to hear her speak while in the same building even though I wasn't lucky enough to get into her panel. My eldest and I watched her interview with Warwick Davis live stream at the event.

 I regret not getting my photo taken with her. I'm proud that although my eldest is no SW fan, General Organa impressed her in The Force Awakens and Carrie Fisher became elevated to her list of strong, iconic women with Jennifer Lawrence and Daisy Ridley as inspirations.
My two boys are also saddened at losing the General. At least one more generation has been touched by Carrie Fisher and will live on in their memories. We will miss her.

Just recently a Brigade member asked for our moment in the films that we thought first defined Leia. For me, it was the moment she took charge of her own rescue in A New Hope after Luke and Han's attempt went bottoms up. This was not a damsel in distress who would wait for the hero to save her. Instead, she assessed the situation, made a decision and took the lead, taking no sass from the scruffy looking nerf herder and hapless but heroic farm boy. The same qualities that made her a leader. I will always remember her for that.
To those who jumped in saying things along the lines of 'oh, you all make a fuss about a celebrity dying but what about all the homeless/orphans/refugees?!'. Caring about one does not preclude another, and for many Carrie Fisher was an advocate and a voice for mental health and addiction issues. Empathy for one's fellow human beings does not have a limit, and making such crass statements shows the true nature of those making them.
To those who would say 'but she did other things too!': Of course she did, and I know many will remember her for those. But it was as Princess Leia that she made the most impact on me personally (and on my children).
To those who want to point out she was a general: See above, but also to quote Max von Sydow's character in The Force Awakens:
"To me, she'll always be royalty."

Carrie Fisher
"...drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra..."


  1. Beautiful and heartfelt tribute, Pippa. I'm having a hard time reconciling her loss, too. She'll always be remembered as Leia, the character who redefined the role of a heroine, but Leia would not have been Leia if the power of Carrie Fisher's personality had not been behind her. Though I'm glad that Carrie Fisher's role in the next Star Wars film was already completed at the time of her passing, it's going to be very bittersweet and ironic to see her character living on when she is gone. She'll be very missed.

    1. Thanks Laurie. Yeah, I reckon there'll be many tears in the theatre at the next SW film. At the moment I can't even think about it.

  2. Lovely tribute, Pippa, to an icon. For me, Princess Leia made Star Wars real. Her strength and sass is copied in every strong, sassy SFR heroine. Her quiet strength in The Force Awakens showed what royalty really is.

  3. Yes. I agree with everything you said. It will be... interesting... to see what Disney does with her character in the next films. Personally, I like to see her rest in peace. (ie, that they acknowledge her passing)

    1. Yeah, without knowing where Leia's story ends in 8 it may well be Disney will have to do *something* to explain her absence in the final one. I know a decision was announced not to digitally recreate her but they might have to a little.

  4. I agree. She lent so much to the franchise, I would hope they would dedicate the next Star Wars installment to her. Actually, I'd be pretty surprised if they don't.

  5. By the way, Pippa, that video of the rendition of Leia's Theme brought tears to my eyes. It's such a beautiful piece of music and it will forever be linked to Carrie Fisher.

    1. I've always loved that piece and it chokes me up every time even before her death. It always reminds me of what Leia said about her mother: beautiful, kind, but sad.


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