When I first watched Star Wars, I was very young. My parents, who were nerds as I was, were kind enough to introduce me to the wondrous world of lightsabers and Jedi, of Death Stars and starfighters…the ultimate battle between good and evil.
I watched through wide eyes with rapt attention, hanging on every moment. Of course as a child I reveled in the gratuitous space battles, yet as I grew older and more cognizant, I began to grasp the finer points of the story. It was then, aware of the social implications, that I began to appreciate Leia.
Leia may have been a princess, but not in the traditional Hollywood sense. She was a politician, a soldier, a leader and fighter. She was smart-mouthed and strong-willed. She may have loved a man, but she didn’t need one. In most movies the dashing prince saves the fair princess. In Star Wars, she saved him.
Leia gave sci-fi, and indeed movies in general, something it had sorely lacked: a strong, independent heroine. And it was the incomparable Carrie Fisher who gave Leia her knowing smile, her fiery eyes, and her powerful voice.
Carrie Fisher was Hollywood royalty, but though she was known for many things, ultimately it was Star Wars that came to define her for so many.
Though she may have spoken with many voices, worn many hats, in her sixty years, to me she will always be the resolute leader who believed a band of misfits could bring down an empire. That, I would hope, is how Carrie Fisher would want to be remembered.