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Rest in Peace, Our General and Princess

It was confirmed by her daughter, Billie Lourd, that Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning.

That sentence was incredibly hard to type. Fisher was not just the woman who played Princess Leia, bringing true character to a role that could have so easily been just another throwaway sci-fi part. She was an open advocate for mental health, who talked frankly about her struggles with addiction and never hid away who she was. She was funny, and witty, and one of the most interesting people in the world to see in an interview. You never got the pat Hollywood answer from Carrie Fisher, she would always tell you what was on her mind.

As Princess Leia, she inspired a generation of women and girls who had been served the same roles in media over and over. She showed them that a woman could take over her own rescue, and sass a Stormtrooper minutes after being tortured by her own father. I remember distinctly my Great Grandmother telling me how blown away she had been when she saw Star Wars on TV one day. This woman, who had been born in 1900, turned on the television to see a woman giving orders, and the men around her listening. It was a revelation that couldn’t have happened without Carrie.

She was a script doctor, taking films like Hook and The Wedding Singer to the finish line, filling them with her warmth and whipsmart humor. Her books, both autobiographical and not, took a frank look at the world around her, and always made you feel a little better about how messed up we all were, together.

In short, Carrie Fisher has always been our Princess, our General. Rest in Peace, Carrie, we’ll all miss you terribly.

 

Rowan Hansen: ” It has been a long year of conquest for bleakness and despair. The old guard, our heroes, those shining beacons of hope we looked to to guide our hearts and minds, to fill us with warmth and courage and joy… are gone. We will need to make new heroes to survive the coming darkness… but will you wait to see who will stand first, or will you light your own light and become the hero you need?

Our heroes may be gone, but we will keep carrying them in our hearts until we are ready to let them go. We will keep carrying them until we need them, truly need them, no longer, and even then we will let go reluctantly. It is hard to let go of someone whose name is “Carrie”. Say it out loud if it didn’t make sense. Then remember that so many of our heroes wanted us to laugh, and love, and think about others without despairing of them. Remember them, even as you tread into the dark of future days without them.

When a hero dies, they can no longer fight… but they can also never be defeated. Carrie Fisher, Ron Glass, George Michael, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and the many many others that 2016 had claimed… all have gone the way of Obi-wan. Their lessons live on.

We will not forget.

We will not give them up.

And I hope beyond hope that we will not let them down.

This rickroll brought to you by Human Emotion.”

 

Malkontent Blizzard:  “She did so much to destigmatize mental illness and addiction in the SF community. It’s up to us to continue that work.

[Malkontent further adds the following]

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Jarys:  “Carrie Fisher was a hero to me, in fact she was one of my first heroes….definitely my first revolutionary and feminist heroes. She played a woman who refused to lead from the back, to behave while atrocities were being committed. The character of Leia Organa, defined by and partially written by Fisher, stood up to torture kept fighting after literally everyone and every home she loved was destroyed, who took a weapon from the hands of the scoundrels who came to rescue her and lead them to escape, who refused to escape overwhelming force until every other possible person could be evacuated, who risked everything for what she believed in and who she cared about, and choked the Hutt who treated her like a slave to death with the very chain with which he had imprisoned her. That last detail was one hundred percent Carrie Fisher’s idea and bless her for the message that sent.

Carrie Fisher also struggled with and lived her life despite Bipolar, turning personal horror into inspirational and heart lightening books. She advocated for those less fortunate than her, and for understanding for those less able than her to hide their struggle. Due to this mental illness Carrie Fisher had to reinvent herself many times, walking back from life draining depression with messages of hope. She was a touchstone for many people who suffered as she did.

Carrie Fisher did all this with an iron will and a Teflon wit. She gave the finger liberally, was honest and without filters, and she left this world so much better for having been a part of it.

She is my hero.”

Patrick Lowry
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