Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rest In Peace Carrie Fisher

To think just 2 weeks ago, it was the midnight premiere of Rogue One - I was yawning in my seat but grinning with excitement, crying from the emotion of it all, and gasping as she came onscreen, albeit a CGI version of herself. To think just 48 hours ago, it was Christmas Day - I was happy and re-watching The Force Awakens with my brothers, smiling as she came onscreen. To think just 2 hours ago, I was watching 8 Out of 10 Cats with her as a guest star.


Rest in peace, Carrie Fisher. Artist. Activist. Princess.

Star Wars has always been a huge part of my life, since I was a toddler forced to watch it by my older brothers, to a 17 year old whose frequent re-watches have become an escape from the apparent hell of A Levels.

For tiny Bethan, Princess Leia was the first strong, independent and courageous female leader she encountered. Before Hermione and Belle and Katniss, before I discovered Feminism and calling out sexism, before I understood how to form my own views and voice them, Princess Leia was my role model. She was involved in politics and fighting for good; she sacrificed herself for her friends and family; she could fight and shoot a gun and get herself out of tricky situations; she made Han Solo a better man; she had fabulous hair and sass I always aspired to have; and she stood up for what she believed in, no matter the cost. When Luke was whining about Obi Wan Kenobi's death (I mean, fair enough for the audience who knew and loved him, but mate, you've known him for all of 2 seconds, calm down), she quietly mourned the death of her entire planet - setting it aside while she fought for the greater good.

Princess Leia was everything I aspired to be as a child; she still is everything I aspire to be. Carrie Fisher was my childhood, my first role model, my inspiration.

Not only that, she was a brilliant human being. She helped countless people by being so outspoken on her mental health issues, and was an incredibly open and supportive celebrity - she told it how it was, she opened herself up to the criticisms of many in order to help those who needed it. She was witty and caring and loved by everyone. She was a game-changer in the movie industry with her frequent discussion of mental health and of the rampant sexism in Hollywood at the time the original Star Wars trilogy was made, and how she did her utmost to make Leia as unlike the over-sexualised and stereotypical female characters that were everywhere in Hollywood.

Twitter after her death was filled with tweets praising her, expressing their pain at her loss, their sadness that she was gone, and their anger at 2016 for taking her and so many other artists, creators and those who dared to be different.

I'm so angry at this world for taking her and so many others this year, but this one hurts the most. Because she gave me the foundations to become someone who was strong, outspoken, politically aware, feisty while still being kind and deeply good.

She gave tiny Bethan hope.

Rest in peace, you brilliant soul. You were and are the world's favourite princess.