Based on the title of this article, you might think I’m an anti-sequel trilogy or somebody that is anti-Disney. This could not be further from the truth. I am very excited about The Rise of Skywalker in December and have loved the direction that Disney has taken the franchise and an excited to see what they produce after the Skywalker Saga. What I am not emotionally prepared for is seeing the character of Princess, or now General Leia portrayed by Carrie Fisher one last time. This will be, for me, the hardest character to say goodbye to, and a lot of them come from her performance is posthumous.
Carrie Fisher was the embodiment of everything that is Star Wars. Her character Leia was one that stood for everything Star Wars has stood for. She helped portray some major themes of the original films, such as hope, heroism, and escaping to a better life. She did that final them literally as she started as a prisoner. It genuinely seemed that Fisher loved playing this role and loved being a part of the Star Wars community.
Fisher played a significant role in making sure that women in Hollywood felt represented appropriately. The character of Leia was one of the first times where the woman of a story was a hero rather than a damsel in distress. She gave little girls back then somebody to relate to, which can only compare to the movies like Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman of late and the impact they have had on young female viewers. We can make the argument that she was both, but she was a crucial reason that Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and he escaped the Death Star in A New Hope. She didn’t need other people to save her; she was the one doing the saving. This moment and her role in storytelling has played a pivotal role in making sure that women characters can be recognized and have roles of strength, rather than weakness. Her importance as Leia has been one that has been a multi-generational impact.
Fisher became an advocate for mental health later on in her life. In 2007 it was revealed that she had lived out most of her life while suffering from bipolar disorder. Since then, and before ‘07 she was an advocate for folks to just be themselves. She used her “weirdness” to show how unique everyone is at their core. On a personal note, Fisher showed me how normal it was for people to live full lives with mental illness. With many family members that suffer from mental illness, it was great for me to see somebody that I looked up to be so open about their struggles was refreshing to see.
Fisher was somebody that seemed to love to do the press leading up to the movies, and it feels like we robbed of two occasions where she would have promoted the hell out of Star Wars the last few years. I missed her during the lead up of The Last Jedi and I will miss her now, during the lead up to The Rise of Skywalker.
I feel that it might be a selfish thing for Star Wars fans to wish that she was still here, but I know so many of us would have loved to see her live through the entire sequel trilogy, but unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. If there’s anything that The Last Jedi taught us, and this is true with Carrie Fisher, it is that nobody is ever really gone and this is true with Carrie. Her legacy will always live on with these films; I just wish we had gotten a little more of her the last couple of years. She was charismatic, witty, and had a smile that could melt hearts and as excited as I am for this movie to come out in December, I’ll never be ready to say goodbye to Carrie Fisher, or Leia.