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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Carrie Fisher

     Way back in 1977, The ten year old boy who would become the man who would become Mister Smith saw an amazing movie. A year before this, My brother and I had believed a man could fly, as Christopher Reeve sailed across the screen in primary colors. In 1977, we had to learn the ways of the Force, to accompany Alec Guinness to Alderaan. My parent's battered green dodge dart got us there, and to Yavin IV, and back.

     In among all this jumping through Hyperspace (Which ain't like dusting crops) I saw an amazing vision.
Clad in a clinging white dress, Confident, Defiant, Sassy... I'm not sure how tall a stormtrooper is, but I knew I didn't want to be a little short to be one. She burned her signature on my young heart just like Daphne, Batgirl, Lois Lane and Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman had before, and just like Catherine Bach's Daisy Duke would in the future. Her luminous brown eyes and shining brown hair said "Princess" to me, and she left a mark on my soul that all my life still hasn't worn all the way away. She was smart, funny, and a crack shot with a blaster. She was never just a pretty face, but a dynamic force on the screen. Real princesses don't just wait to be saved. They do some of the saving themselves.

     I know I am talking about the character, not the actress, but for me they are indelibly painted together.  No one else could have made her the way she was on the screen. When the right actor takes a role, no one else can replace them.

     I read Postcards From the Edge when I was way too young to truly understand it. It was funny, a touching fictionalized memoir, but I should read it again. I remember it was a compelling read, and she a compelling writer. I should pick up some of her other books as well. She wrote satirically of what she had done to herself, candid, unapologetic. At the time I thought it was about what "Hollywood" does to you, but really it was about what it did to her, and how she handled it. It was about how she learned to handle it better.

     She's gone from us now, certainly one with the Force. She left a legacy behind of tough, yet vulnerable heroines that is both hard to quantify, and at the same time trackable. She broke the princess mold, she shattered the damsel mold, and forever changed what many of us young would-be Jedi or scoundrels sought out for our other half. 
From neck-to-ankles coverage to metal bikini, and everything in between. 

      She was brave, honest, and we learned, dealing with bipolar. I know a little of what it's like to have your mind betray you, and tell you things that make you feel anxious or self-hating or downright crazed, and I appreciate the courage it took just to function, much less give joy to so many people for so long. 

     Carrie Fisher was a class act. She had a unique ability to combine class with crass, and to be earthy and approachable. I am saddened by a world without her.

Here are some tributes by fellow Web Personalities

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