Best remembered as Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher’s recent and sudden death has left the world mourning our prized intergalactic feminist general and empirical destroyer. At a mere nineteen years old, Fisher inspired nerds of all sorts as she, over the course of time, became a figurehead for feminism, individualism, outspokenness, and mental illness.
I’ve been an avid Star Wars fan for most of my adult life, learning to love a plot that launched an imaginary world far from anything I could have ever envisioned myself. George Lucas introduced charming characters that possessed relatability and who taught what it meant to fight against the chains of an empire that too closely resembled a combative world of our own.
Princess Leia possessed feminine strength and resilience; qualities to appreciate much before a time when society could grasp them for themselves and regard them as advantageous in others. What remained of her attractive grip was a message to be heeded:
“may we all be able to get up every day and, in spite of our pain and loss and fear, put on our boots and vest and plan to destroy the empire.” Twitter: @anne_theriault
We could all find the Princess Leia in ourselves to forge forward and fight to chain the fascists and degrading 'others' that attempt to restrain and compromise us ... walking out motherfucking generals and leaders.
Fischer not only played the role of the resilient Princess Leia and General Leia Organa, she also doctored scripts and wrote autobiographical novels outlining her struggles with addiction and bipolar disorder, becoming an advocate for mental illness. Her most profound novel, “Postcards From The Edge,” spoke to those attempting to overcome the chains of mental illness. The loosely autobiographical novel detailed an exact representation of those chained and strangled by mental illness in precise language:
“She had plenty of evidence that she had a good life. She just couldn’t feel the life she had. It was as though she had cancer of the perspective.”
While enduring backlash rendered by the most current Star Wars film (Ep. VII), Fischer offered the world a piece of mind when faced with the natural processes of aging. Her composure and directness dispelled hate and taught the world a lesson when it came to societies' increasingly detrimental expectations of an everlasting image:
“Youth and beauty are not accomplishments. They’re temporary. Happy by-products of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either. A long time ago in a galaxy far far way, someone else might have given a fuck.”
Carrie Fisher or Princess Leia, however you may regard her as, was a figurehead for all to follow. Her achievements on-screen, off, and in the Star Wars galaxy, will continue to inspire and instill courage and resiliency in all who already will and those who will one day encounter the beautiful woman that Fisher was and will always be (in spirit) for the world. We can all continue on into 2017 with the knowledge that if we work hard and forge forward, we can all be motherfucking generals.
May the force be as strong with her in death as it was in life.