Thursday, December 29, 2016

So Long Princess

I am heartbroken.

On Tuesday I learned that Carrie Fisher passed away.  And how I learned of her passing was probably in the worst way possible.

An office mate of mine, an odious individual who has the sensitivity of a half eaten jelly-fish, turned around to face me and asked, "So, Murph, do you think that they will hire another actress to play Princess Leah in the next Star Wars?"

Hire another actress?

"What are you talking about?" I asked. When I checked the news feeds the night before, they said that she was stable and improving following her heat attack.

"They just said on the radio that she is dead." He, not being a very observant individual, must have recognized the look on my face which must have been enough to make him want to turn back around to face his own computer screen.

I jumped onto my news feed and was alarmed to find out that my oafish office mate was right.
Carrie Fisher had, indeed, passed away.

I first became aware of her in 1977, when at the age of 8, I was successful in talking my Dad into taking me to the Center Theater to see Star Wars (later subtitled, A New Hope).
I thought that she was lovely, but I was 8.  Girls were still yucky in my mind, and there were Blaster Pistols, Space Ships, Robots, Aliens, and did I mention Blaster Pistols, which were far more interesting to the 8-year-old mind of a little boy than a lovely young princess.

Things were a little different in 1980 when The Empire Strikes Back (still the best episode in the saga, in my opinion) came out. I can safely say that at that point, Carrie Fisher was my first Hollywood crush.
And then, at the age of 14, I was able to see Return of the Jedi.  Ya... I won't use the term "Slave Leah" because I prefer "Hut Slayer," but you know what I'm talking about.

Through the years, I continued to notice her in other movies: The Blues Brothers, Under the Rainbow, The Man with One Red Shoe, When Harry Met Sally, Soapdish, Drop Dead Fred, and probably a few others that I am forgetting, and every time I thought that she was brilliant, even when the movie itself wasn't that great.  She was so funny in Drop Dead Fred.

I've never felt real loss at the death of a celebrity, but with Carrie Fisher, I do.  There is a hole in my heart that I don't know can ever really be filled again.

In the Star Wars saga, she played a strong, independent woman, who was capable of leading men into battle, while still being tender and loving toward a scoundrel like Solo.
In her real life, she battled addictions and mental illness, and was able to overcome them, but those battles left her weakened, and in the end, her body just could not go on.

She came to Salt Lake FanX a couple of years ago.  I so wanted to meet her, but I was a volunteer and could not get away long enough to do that, a regret that I will have for the rest of my life.  I was able to catch sight of her from across a crowded hall, a fleeting glimpse is all, but it was enough for the day, and must be enough for my lifetime.

So, to Carrie Fisher I must say, so long, adieu, God Speed you on your journey. We, who are left behind will miss you always.

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