Carrie Fisher passed away on Tuesday at the age of 60 following a heart attack last week, and the outpouring of grief and mourning I saw online was one of the more universal and all-encompassing I’ve seen over the past year. Not that I was particularly surprised by that, of course. Because beyond her ever-present and perpetually-celebrated role as Leia Organa, Fisher had contributed tremendous comedic performances in numerous films and TV shows and been a much beloved writer and mental health advocate, and taken as a whole there was a facet to her for everyone. And while I’m not nearly familiar enough with Fisher’s other work (to my chagrin), how could I not eulogize my first favorite heroine?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… life went on. The Rebellion defeated the Empire, Han and Leia got together, Luke became a Jedi, and the galaxy kept on spinning. And now, we finally know what really happened next. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens we return to that mythological galaxy to discover that, much like our own world, things don’t end happily ever after and even the greatest victories are precursors to more struggle and heartache… but also more hope. And after watching The Force Awakens I couldn’t have more hope for the future of Star Wars, and it’s a wonderful feeling to have.
The Star Wars Saga has been one of (if not the) defining stories of my life, and has shaped my view of and passion for storytelling and pop culture ever since. The original films were great, the prequels had their moments but ultimately disappointed, the Expanded Universe was fun but ridiculous. With the whole galaxy getting a fresh start under the oversight of Disney, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about Star Wars again, particularly for me, and it’s surprising that I’ve barely talked about either the old or new parts of the series on this blog. But with all that being said, I remain somewhat detached from this return to the galaxy blah blah blah, for what I think are very rational reasons… which is far from the sort of perspective I’d want to have on one of myfavorite franchises.