The passing of Carrie Fisher on 27 December 2016 was a huge loss.
I grew up during the 70s in the UK, and really there were no characters like Leia Organa regularly on either television or the age appropriate films I was legally able to see. While on TV, we had Pepper Anderson in “Police Woman” and Jamie Sommers in “The Bionic Woman”, in film what made Leia different was that she led and she was integral to the story … she wasn’t there purely to be a love interest or family figure superfluous to plot.
George Lucas often said that Leia was based on his elder sister, and with that creation he made one of the very few, truly iconic cinematic female characters. Leia Organa allowed characters such as Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor to grace our cinemas – she showed that these characters work on screen in commercial film. In terms of the Star Wars Universe, especially with the former EU; she allowed authors to create equally strong – and interesting – female characters such as Mara Jade and Jaina Solo, etc, and creators included female characters such as Ahsoka Tano playing dynamic, inclusive roles in “The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” animated series.
With Leia Organa, Star Wars isn’t just for boys.
The wonderful legacy of Leia comes with every convention when you see men dressing as her. Sometimes it’s as a joke and sometimes it’s more; I mean if I want to dress like Han Solo, why shouldn’t a fella don the white dress and hair buns or even the slave outfit to access his inner Princess?
However, the story idea that was conceived, and put in motion with “THE FORCE AWAKENS” meant that Leia had an equally important role to play within this trilogy and with her passing there is now a question of do you carry on with a character who remains alive in story but whose actor has died by any means possible; or do you bring back a character who died but whose actor is alive? This forms the discussion between myself and Kathy for our rescheduled Show 7, especially in light of the BBC Newsnight piece (10 January 2017) which also discussed the idea of recreating dead actors digitally, which forced the statement directly from Lucasfilm regarding Carrie Fisher and there was also another statement from Disney completely refuting the Newsnight piece (I have tried for the least 45 mins to find a link to that statement from them directly which appears to have completely disappeared. I know it was available online because it was the only way I could have been aware of it!)
To paraphrase Carrie from the “Bright Lights” documentary; she came to the end of her personality and is now at rest.
She was, and will forever remain, our Princess.
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