Let’s face it. This year has seen way too many people leaving us before their time. The first for me was Prince. He was on my Top Five performers to see. Sadly, I scratched him, instead of checking him, off my list.
The announcement of Carrie Fisher’s death today first hit me softly, but continued to intensify. I slowly realized what an icon she was. Before you say I’m one of those Star War freaks, I’m not. (If you’re one of them, that’s ok; I get it.) I have no collectibles, don’t attend any conferences. I have original videotapes of the first three movies, but I don’t know where they are. However, whenever every Star Wars movie came out, I saw it as quickly as possible. I felt it was un-American to miss a Star Wars movie! My family has come out of a theater laughing hysterically about how the one “episode” had the same plot as another Star Wars film. (Episode 7 – “The Star Awakens” vs. Episode 4 “A New Hope”- let’s be honest). Regardless, I waited for each upcoming movie.
So on Christmas night, my family continued the tradition of seeing the latest film, “Rogue One”. Surprisingly Princess Leia shows up. No spoilers here, so that’s all I will admit. But when she appeared on the screen, it was magical. It was a full circle moment, and I know everyone in that movie theater who has followed these movies had their breath taken away for that moment.
Carrie Fisher made that character iconic. When you see Carrie roasting George Lucas, she knew she would ALWAYS be Princess Leia. It’s not easy always being known for that one character. But she held it beyond how Judy Garland did as Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”. Carrie starred in sequels. She was tough in and out of character as she was one of the few females on the set. Carrie was upfront about her addiction and bi-polar diagnosis. Judy Garland kept her demons hidden, although that was typical in her time. Carrie continued to work on and off screen, with roles in “The Blues Brothers”, “Hannah and Her Sisters”, and recently “Catastrophe“, which I love. She was a “screen doctor” for films such as “Lethal Weapon 3”, “The Wedding Singer”, and dialogue for the Star Wars prequels.
Throughout all of her struggles and fame, she barreled through life, always showing up when I least expected it. And every time, I silently cheered for her, even when she starred in “The Star Awakens”. So her death finished more than a chapter, in my life. More like an era. She will always be remembered as the Princess who got the job done, one way or another.