Photo by Riccardo Ghilardi

On December 27, 2016, Carrie Fisher left us. She was an icon of fandom, film-making, and humor. Her out-of-nowhere death shocked all of us. We had lost our Princess and our General. Leia was also my ‘acting head of the Republic’ as there was no Mon Mothma action figure back then.

While other toys presented helpless princesses who waited to be rescued, she presented a rare positive female role-model: determined, strong, tenacious, and definitely not waiting to be rescued. 

It wasn’t just Princess Leia either. Carrie Fisher, the person, was just as badass as the rebel princess she portrayed onscreen. Writer and humorist, script doctor, and humanitarian. She was a tireless crusader for removing the stigma of mental illness and was very open about her own struggles with depression and mental illness. If anything, the character was modeled more on the actress. She embodied all of those qualities that we loved about Leia.

I went to the Lightsaber vigil at the Alamo. It was awesome to see so many show up to honor Carrie Fisher. I really felt honored to be part of it, even in my very small role of holding a lightsaber aloft along with a lot of other fans.

Here’s to you Carrie Fisher, the only royalty to whom I would bow.

Fans raise their lightsabers in tribute to Carrie Fisher at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Photo by Sean Russell
A Jedi guards a tribute table, with mementos brought from fans. Photo by Sean Russell

Kenny Baker- the man who played the galaxy’s favorite astromech droid R2-D2, departed our dimension on August 13, 2016. Performer in Star Wars, Time Bandits, Willow, and Flash Gordon will be sorely missed.

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