I was a teenager when Star Wars came out in 1977. Like so many others, the movie changed everything for me, from going to the movies, the stories we tell, and portrayal of strong women on screen. Star Wars did that for me.
Leia was a feminist, though I didn’t know it at the time. Her fierceness, intelligence, rebel heart and steadfastness were all characteristics I admired, and wanted to emulate. Here, finally was a princess that wasn’t waiting for her prince, but ready to kick-ass, take names and answer later. She was the strongest woman character I had ever seen on the big screen. I wanted to be her, sandwiched between Luke and Han, and admired by both.
With the loss of Carrie Fisher, the woman who brilliantly portrayed our first feminist princess, Leia, all of this came rushing back to me. I had forgotten my attachment to Leia and what she meant to me as a 14-year-old girl. I had gone to see the movie as often as I could, and I could never get enough of the banter and of her fierceness. By the end of the summer, I had seen the movie about 16 times, and every time I saw it, it was brand new and exciting. No movie has been the same way for me since.
As the lone woman in the center of the all-male action, Leia had more guts and cleverness than Luke and Han, and the entire Empire. Leia was an agent for positive change, she could send a cry for help, and then rescue her rescuers. And she never apologized for her words or actions, what strength and confidence!
Today, we all need to take a bit of Leia into our heart and soul. With the recent outcome of the U.S. election, we need to not let a handful of men standing around with their hands in their pockets and and on their wallets decide OUR fate. It’s time to go through the trash chute, and forge our future once and for all.
Thank you Carrie Fisher for your brilliant portrayal, and for now and forever being our fierce Princess Leia.