Carrie Fisher, umm,…I mean Princess Leia was my first crush. I saw Star Wars in 1978 when it had come back to play in theaters after a monster run the year before. I was 4 years old and the movie made an indelible mark on my psyche. At that young of age I felt the gamut of emotions one doesn’t usually come to understand until much later in life. The whole idea of the “damsel in distress” thing hadn’t completely sunk in to me prior to this point, but after seeing Luke, Han, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan, C3P0, and R2D2’s gallant rescue of the Princess from Alderaan I felt my head open up to a whole other world. But Princess Leia wasn’t some wallflower waiting for some space stud to sweep her off her feet. She was a beautiful and tough-as-nails gal that was in the thick of a fight that may very well kill her, but she didn’t care.

dsc05120Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia with both a sly wit and an open heartedness. She came across both as this unattainable beauty and as the girl next door that would come over to babysit you when your parents went out for drinks on Friday night. Star Wars was an obsession of mine(I know join the club, right?) from that first viewing of Star Wars in the summer of 1978 till 1984 when GI Joe and Transformers took more precedent and real estate in my closet and brain. While the swashbuckling adventures, the spaceships, laser guns, lightsabers, Jedi mind tricks, and sensory overload battle scenes were enough to stick around for, it was the characters that kept me wanting. They kept me emotionally invested in the story. Carrie Fisher was a big part of that for me. I wouldn’t say I obsessed over her, but yeah, I obsessed over her. I was part of the Star Wars Fan Club. I remember getting patches, the famed ‘Revenge of the Jedi’ movie poster, and my most prized possession, an autographed 5×7 photo of Carrie Fisher in Hoth attire. It was signed “Galactically Yours, Carrie Fisher”. My mom gave me a little gold frame to put it in and it sat on my desk for years. Of course, it wasn’t really signed personally by her, but it was the thought that counted. I also remember being quite jealous of Paul Simon for marrying her.

I tried to watch everything Carrie Fisher was in after Star Wars. I watched The Blues Brothers on TV and when she appeared as Belushi’s ex trying to kill him all I wanted to see was her. Then at the end when he leaves her behind all I could think was “You fool!!” She was also in Under The Rainbow with Chevy Chase. I sat through that at 8 years old because of her. The Man With One Red Shoe, Hannah and her Sisters, The ‘Burbs, and Drop Dead Fred were all movies I was excited to see Carrie Fisher in. Hell, even as an adult I was thrilled to see her in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. 

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Watercolor by Shane Darin Page

Of course, Fisher was far more than just a Princess in a galaxy far, far, away. She was human with human problems. Addiction, mental health issues, and growing up with famous parents can’t be all that easy. But she also possessed this amazing mind and ability to write beautifully. She was very candid about her life and wrote about it freely. Her wit and smarts shined through in her books and in her appearances in 30 Rock, Weeds, Robot Chicken, and The Big Bang Theory. She was a person not to be trifled with, possessing a Dorothy Parker-like razor wit and though she did suffer from typecasting from Star Wars, she never let it control her and stop her from doing what she wanted.

I may not be that little kid with butterflies in his stomach every time Carrie Fisher, umm….I mean Princess Leia appears on the screen, but I’m still pretty devastated at the thought that she’s gone. We’re lacking in sly wit and open heartedness as of late. I hope wherever the Princess is, she’s found some peace.

8 thoughts on “Carrie Fisher

  1. Great post, JH. I wanted to be Han Solo for a long time when I was younger. Sure Luke had The Force, but Han had Chewie and, more importantly, Leia.

    An incredible woman… I hope the Galaxy’s looking after her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post/tribute jhubner73. I had the same crush…although I was 12 in 1977 when it came out and joined the SW fan club and wrote in care of 20th Century Fox, basically a 4 page love letter to Carrie….and got the same 5 x 7 photo back that you received with the same “Galactically Yours” written on it. I had wanted it to actually have been written on MY photo by her but upon careful inspection, I noticed that there was no indentation where the signature lines were and was disappointed as I then knew it was one of a hundred?… a thousand?….a million copies? I was left never knowing if she personally ever read my heart filled juvenile outpouring with newly blossoming testosterone in every word from that arrow struck 12 year old who was me. I’ll never know. I followed the path you did and watched everything she appeared in for years. Well, she was indeed human and was somehow angry when I first read her books and found out she was into drugs. As I matured and realized her life and being the daughter of stars in Hollywood and how that can affect kids of those stars…and the money which was no object and the crowd that must have been around LA and Hollywood in those days (and now) who she hung around, I had no more anger, just some sadness and pity for that beautiful, insecure girl who was trying her best to be the confident, beautiful person she thought she wasn’t. Though as a man, the draw of her sex appeal, that strength, those eyes and the looks on her face…check out her interview I just watched after hearing of her death last week, with Charlie Rose in I think 1998, on Youtube. The looks on her face in parts, are so sexy, it would make any man melt. She was a beauty, a siren in fact. However, as a person, a human being, I believe the truth of who she was, when a teen…and even in her later adulthood, is a girl…a woman…a person who was frail inside, lonely, sweet, generous as people say she was to a fault, and innocent…yes, innocent. She was, I know…a girl looking for love, real love that would last, with a person who would match her and one that her mental instabilities would not be able to allow her to push away and leave. She was a vulnerable soul, and I think, despite family and friends and fans everywhere, that she was really very lonely, breakable and delicate a soul. She had that had outer shell and bawdiness, pseudo openness that she flashed around on talk shows, speaking of that she was an open book. However, I think she never allowed herself to say…”The truth is…actually, I am shy and lonely and I want someone to love me not for Princess Leia….not because I’m a daughter of Hollywood, not because I am well known, best selling writer…but because I am me and that they will take me as I am and just love me with no strings and because I am Carrie. if anyone doubts this…..I suggest they do two things: #1. Listen to what she says carefully in some interviews where she touches on her weakness…her putting up a front of being a confident person as she announced that she did when Harrison Ford hit on her and they had an affair. She projected an image, as she stated, of being this cultured, worldly female because she was shy and was in truth, the complete opposite. She was a delicate, weak, shy person, who so desperately wanted to just be loved and to love. She never got it really. Even Ford just left her after filming was done and there she was, used, a left girl…instantly empty again and realizing she was just a plaything for an older, man who was being a player while thousands of miles away from his wife. She had more than a crush on Ford and now he was just gone. She truly was, in the words of the group Yes the, ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart.’ I believe that heart never was filled by a man for her. Well, that is the one thing I suggest people do. And #2 is this: To see the truth of who Carrie Fisher was…in a nutshell, go to the video on Youtube of the outtake of Peter Cushing. It is a brief clip of an outtake of the scene where his character, Tarkin, is asking Leia the location of the Rebel base. Cushing flubs his line and jokingly reaches toward Fisher as if to attack her, saying the extra words not in the script loudly, exaggerating his own mistake. Fisher, smiles…..but in that brief few seconds, I believe one can truly see just who she was. Look at her eyes during that bright scared smile. She was just a girl, trying to be something..but soft, easily intimidated, sweet, meek, not confident, easily hurt, and extremely shy and vulnerable. The picture of her face in those few seconds and that big but timid smile and squinting, little girls eyes, speaks a thousand words that now echo to her memory. I hope she is safe and loved fully now…everlastingly, with her mother by her side. Sleep well and be happy Dear, wherever you reside now.

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