For as long as I can remember, Star Wars has been a part of my life. While I was growing up in a small town in the Midwest, I could always be found watching the original trilogy. I was captivated by this galaxy far far away.
As I watched A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi on repeat, I didn’t realize at the time just how many stereotypes Carrie Fisher had broken by becoming Princess Leia. To me, she was just another hero in my favorite story, right alongside Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.
Princess Leia rescued the man she loved, defended the galaxy and fought Jabba the Hutt. This character showed me how a strong female could and should be represented in cinema.
This princess didn’t need a man to save her, she had a galaxy to save.
Carrie Fisher wasn’t just Princess Leia. She was a hilarious and outspoken comedian, best-selling author and extremely open about her battle with addictions. Fisher wouldn’t hide behind publicists, instead, she addresses these issues head-on. She used her celebrity to discuss issues like mental health awareness on a national stage. This was a brave and selfless action. Fisher displayed her flaws and by doing so, allowed fans to connect with her. She was real. Not just a princess.
Dealing with anxiety and depression has been an increasingly difficult battle for me but seeing Fisher be open and honest about her problems, inspired me to be less ashamed. These traits are a part of me. I’m working on becoming healthier every day, but no day is perfect.
Fisher reminded me to laugh, embrace life and be proud of being a woman trying to make it in a male-dominated industry.
While my thoughts and prayers are with the Fisher family and those closest to Carrie, I take comfort in knowing that young girls all around the world will be able to watch Star Wars for years and generations to come. They will be able to see the same inspiring character that changed my life. They will grow up wanting to be the hero of their own story.
Fisher’s legacy will forever live on, inspiring girls everywhere to embrace their own power and use The Force.
Thank you, Carrie Fisher. Thank you for being one of the greatest influences in my career. Thank you for helping me be less ashamed of my personal demons. Thank you for being my princess.
May the Force always be with you, Carrie Fisher.
“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force.”-Yoda