“If there’s a choice between companionship and anything else — especially career — choose companionship. It’s the only thing that has the potential to last. Choose career and you’ll spend unreasonable amounts of time attempting to look younger than you are and feeling you aren’t succeeding.”
I was still in diapers when Return of the Jedi hit theaters back in 1983. So, call me a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder if you must, but my first real memory of watching Star Wars really didn’t come about until I watched the “remastered” version of the original trilogy in 1997. Sure, I may already have been exposed to the lore and there’s a good chance that I had already watched the three films, but that was the first time I actually remember watching Star Wars.
The Star Wars universe is populated by innumerable memorable characters, but the overwhelming majority are male. That’s changing slightly with The Force Awakens and more recently with Rogue One. Before we had Rey or Jyn Erso, though, we had Princess Leia Organa, played by the late Carrie Fisher. She was so much more than “just” a princess. She was a hero who demonstrated that leading ladies don’t have to be damsels in distress.
She bravely stood up to tyrants like Darth Vader (she didn’t know he was her dad at the time, of course). She could wield a blaster with the best of them. She inspired the rebels and won our hearts.
“I am Princess Leia, no matter what. If I were trying to get a good table, I wouldn’t say I wrote Postcards. Or, if I’m trying to get someone to take my check and I don’t have ID, I wouldn’t say, ‘Have you seen [When] Harry Met Sally?’ Princess Leia will be on my tombstone.”
But did you know she was in 1997’s Austin Powers? How about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? What about her appearances on Ellen, Sex and the City, 30 Rock, and Smallville? Did you know she was an accomplished writer and “script doctor” too?
Her struggles with substance abuse and mental health are well documented. She spoke very openly, hoping to alleviate some of the unfortunate stigma associated with bipolar disorder and drug addiction. It’s likely that both contributed, at least in part, to her passing.
“I haven’t ever changed who I am. I’ve just gotten more accepting of it. Being happy isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you have.”
Happiness is elusive. Relationships are difficult. And it can be remarkably difficult to come to terms with who you truly are. Carrie Fisher may not have had all the answers, but she lived a life honest, true and full.
May the Force be with you, General Organa. Always.