The Loss of a Princess

I’ve been trying to figure out how to put into words how the loss of Carrie Fisher effects me. I’m devastated, actually. I was at work when I got the news and it was all I could do not to sit at my desk and cry.

I was introduced to Princess Leia when I was 5. I still remember my big sister taking me to see Star Wars and reading the scrolling opening to me. It’s such a vivid memory and yet I can’t recall what I did yesterday. But that…that sticks in my mind.

There is something special about Star Wars. Something that only a die-hard fan would understand. I grew up with Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. I had the action figures. I can quote every line of the original movies without even watching the movies. I know every single line Han and Leia exchanged in Empire Strikes Back. Those were my favorite parts. My freaking text tone is “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” and the one for my husband is the infamous “I love you. I know” line. I’m a total Star Wars nerd and have been since 1977.

For many of us, Star Wars has a special place in our worlds. That movie introduced me to so many new and wonderful things. It gave me an instant love of science fiction and fantasy all blended into one great movie. It gave the world a smart-mouthed, gun toting princess who wasn’t afraid to take charge, to tell the swaggering hero that he was braver than she thought merely by looking at his ship. She wasn’t afraid to save herself when the guys couldn’t get it done (“Into the garbage shoot, flyboy.”). She was tough as nails and led a rebellion with the glossiest lips in the galaxy and giant buns on the side of her head. She became an icon. A living inspiration to young girls everywhere.

I was fortunate to get Carrie Fisher’s new book, The Princess Diarist, for Christmas. I started reading it right away. I had a vested interest, you see, because she announced she had an affair with Harrison Ford (who is also the love of my life) and reading about it is the closest I’ll ever get to Harrison and I have to live vicariously through her.

I think the thing that struck me so much about her book was this paragraph:

“…if I didn’t write about it someone else would. Someone without direct knowledge of the ‘situation.’ Someone who would wait–cowardly–until after my passing to speculate on what happened and make me look bad. No.”

It seems so surreal when I read that passage now. Did she know? Was there some part of her that knew it was time to write what she’d always needed to write? Was it fate that guided her to find those lost diaries and push her to publish the book that now tells of her three-month romance? Who knows.

Their tryst began innocuously enough at a surprise birthday party for George Lucas. She says she would be “surprised if he was actually surprised by it” because it was hard to tell since he “really wasn’t into facial expressions.” She could possibly embellish she was saved from debauchery from the nearly all male drunk crew by the handsome co-star who threw her in the back of his car and told his driver to go! GO! I prefer to believe there is some truth to that because it fuels my imagination to unimaginable degrees. She does state she is no liar and so I have no choice but to believe she’s written her recollection of the truth.

She says Harrison Ford has a “swagger” and a hero’s face.

“He looked like he could lead the charge into battle, take the hill, win the duel, be leader of the gluten-free world, all without breaking a sweat. A hero’s face–a few strands of hair fell over his noble, slightly furrowed brow–watching the horizon for danger in the form of incoming indigenous armies, reflective, concerned eyes so deep in thought you could get lost down there and it would take days to fight your way out.”

Yes, this is how I’ve always thought of Harrison Ford, too. She romanticized him in a way I couldn’t. And as I read that I realized there was a piece of him in all my own heroes. She saw it up close and personal. Lucky girl.

Losing Carrie Fisher is like losing that long-distance friend you knew was always there even though you didn’t talk to her every day. She was just…there. Living her life and doing her own thing and then suddenly…she’s not anymore. I didn’t know her personally but I like to think that in another life we were buddies or could have been buddies.

I can’t envision a Star Wars galaxy without her. I just…can’t. And now the awful truth dawns on me that in the next episode, General Leia Organa will invariably have to die, too. I feel like I’ve been gutted from navel to neck. I both dread and look forward to the next movie.

Rest in peace, Carrie. You will definitely be missed.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.