Man, what a year. We have lost so many beloved actors, musicians, athletes…and just when you think it was over we lost, we lost Carrie Fisher! Right after losing George Michael! Here I am trying to move pass George Michael due to the fact I grew up listening the music. My mom was a huge fan of him and she always singing along to lyrics like, “Freedom 90” and “Faith”. Such good times…Now I have to move on from another star I liked from my childhood, Carrie Fisher. She passed away this past Tuesday the 27th to cardiac arrest. The first time I ever watched her was in “Return of the Jedi” on VHS. Remember VHS? The film was the only one of the original 3 Star Wars movies I had. Though many, many, many later I owned all the movies on DVD. Regardless, it was a joy to watch seeing the various planets the characters traveled to and the creatures and people they met along the way. CP3-O was always bantering with R2-D2 and the only time I ever knew what R2-D2 was saying was through CP3-O’s reactions to what he was saying. Seeing a seven foot creature, Chewbacca co-pilot the Millennium Falcon with his friend Han Solo into hyperspace was freakin’ mindblowing…and what….the Force? Whaaat? Swords that emits the power of a laser? Whaaat? Luke Skywalker is the last of Jedi? Whaaaat? But the one that always kept me interested was Princess Leia. Back in the early 90’s, she was the only princess I admired. While girls were fighting to be Jasmine or Belle, I wanted to fight like Princess Leia. She didn’t need “saving”…she wasn’t going to sit back while the men fought for the freedom from the Imperial Empire. No…she was going to fight alongside the men to fight from the Imperial Empire. And no matter how tight the situation, she continued to be leveled headed. She had no time for nonsense and could smell BS from a mile away. She was fierce! *snaps fingers 3 times* It was great. During the 80s and 90s, there were very few heroines, especially heroines who had just much screen time as male chraracters. Back then, boys played with boys and girls played with girls; but her character proved that the girls can play the boys too. She was no ordinary princess…princesses which I found (no offense) dainty and powerless.
I grew up in a domestic abusive household and all I wanted to do what to help my family, especially my mom. I grew up in a household where my mom wasn’t seen as an equal partner and parent. I was tired seeing the abuse and violence…I was tired of feeling hopeless and helpless…I wanted to do something about the situation. So, yeah I never liked princesses, because if all they were going to do was wear a crown, a dress, and look pretty, forget it. Come to think of it…that could also be the reason why I like watching action/hero movies.
Carrie was also a hero in advocating mental health. In the 1970’s and 1980’s she struggled with addiction to cocaine and LSD, but after she became sober, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder/manic depression in her late 20s. Then on the road to recovery, she used her celebrity status to bring awareness to mental illness. I mean, she didn’t have to do so. She and her family were already a household name in Hollywood, she could have backed down to protect her family’s legacy. But you know what? She didn’t. She knew that someone needed to hear her words on living with mental illness and that hearing her words could save them, hearing her words could someone give the strength to take the reins of their illness and dominate it.
She really was a ballsy woman to stand and say, ” I have mental illness. And what?” Well she didn’t say that, but she carried herself that way. She proved to people, especially people like myself living with mental illness, that you are more than your illness and more than fully capable of living a well-rounded life.
She also proved when a person pursues their mental well-being, seeks treatment and accepts their mental illness, they become a happier and confident person for themselves and the people they love.
Carrie Fisher is survived by her mother, daughter, brother, and her four legged companion, Gary. She will surely be missed by her family, friends and fans like me. Rest in peace Carrie Fisher. May the Force be with you… always.