Dear Carrie Fisher,
I remember the first time I saw "Star Wars: A New Hope". I was in 5th grade and on a vacation with my family. We turned on the TV in the hotel and, much to my dad's excitement, "Star Wars" was on. It was very close to the beginning of the movie so we hadn't missed a whole lot. I was trying to piece together what was going on and was wondering why there were no girls. Don't get me wrong - I love Luke, Han, C3-PO, R2, and Obi-Wan but, as a young girl (and now as a young adult), I liked female characters to relate to. And then there you were!
When Princess Leia blasted through the grate that led to the trash compactor, and away from certain death, you blasted your way into the heart of a 10-year old girl. I was so excited to see Leia be more than a damsel in distress. The movie would be so different without her! I begged my parents to get the other movies in the original trilogy so I could see more "Star Wars". They became our family movies for the next couple of weeks. I was, naturally, very interested in Luke's Jedi training and was very nervous when Han got frozen. Like hundreds before me, I was stunned to find out Darth Vader was Luke's father. During all of the action going on with the male characters, I was also always interested in Leia and what she was up to. Much to my delight, Leia not only continued to be a main character, she continued to be a total badass. Coming up with ideas, always helping the Rebels and working for a good cause, and being pretty much fearless. I wanted to be her. And no, I didn't just want to be her because I had a celebrity crush on Han Solo. So thank you for creating as wonderful a character as Princess Leia, the movies would be completely different with another actress in the iconic role.
To be perfectly honest, I haven't seen any of your other films. At least I don't think I have. But I have heard a lot about you as an actress, screenwriter, and person. By all accounts, you seem to have been considered a funny, kind, talented, great person. Using a very basic, and possibly incorrect logic, a character as amazing and inspiring as Princess Leia could only have been created by a person as amazing and inspiring as you.
Thank you for everything. The galaxy won't be the same without you.
One of the many who looks up to you.