I’d sort of prepared myself for losing Carrie Fisher, after the news broke about her heart attack. But it still didn’t lessen the shock or the sadness when I learned of her death today.
It’s easy to say that someone’s just an actor. Just an artist. And I’ve seen plenty of nay-sayers quick to criticize people mourning.
The reason that actors/artists/creators reach us is because they made an impression on us. Either as human beings, or because something they created reached us.
Carrie Fisher was so much more than Princess Leia, though that will doubtlessly be her best known legacy. She was an incredible writer, both in her novels and memoirs as well as screenplays that she wrote – and those she was a script doctor for.
She stopped being a script doctor because the industry didn’t value their work – asking them to submit notes on what they’d change. Realizing that studios would just take the notes and never hire someone, she moved on.
I spend a lot of time on Tumblr. Over there, she’s known as Space Mom. Because her bravery and honesty inspired so many lost younger women to be brave. The awesomeness that is General Leia was pretty much secondary to a woman who wasn’t afraid to talk about the stumbles – whether it was George Lucas insisting she couldn’t wear a bra, living with bipolar disorder – and living unapologetically.
Princess Leia? She might have been awesome and all? But Carrie Fisher was way cooler.