Today I learned that Carrie Fisher died – that strong, sassy, quick witted and freaking talented inspiration from my childhood that I grew to admire more for her openness about her personal struggles. That woman who showed me that I can be a kick ass human being regardless of gender. That woman who reminded us of the ageism and sexism problem that infiltrates our lives through the screen and the woman who constantly spoke her mind. There are few celebrities who have passed and left a strange void in my heart and Carrie Fisher is definitely one of them. She is one with the force and the force is with her.

I posted this on my tumblr earlier and thought it fitting to post here. I admired Carrie Fisher greatly. She was my first science fiction heroine inspiration. For the longest time I was obsessed with being Princess Leia. It was a name that I always used when I was playing make believe as a kid. (That and Ariel and Belle – I would alternate.) I even grew my hair as long as possible so I could wear it like she does in Return of the Jedi. Unfortunately, long hair is difficult to manage so, eventually, that hair was cut off.

As I grew older I grew to realise the significant impact that she’d had on my life. Fiercely independent, headstrong and not willing to take the crap that society handed her lying down. This inspired me. It inspires me…reminding me that, like her, I am so much more.

As I became more well read, educated, and articulate I came to see how important she was in framing a lot of my critical thinking around women in science fiction and women in film. She was a Princess but she was more than that.

There are many things that I want to say about this woman and the impact she has had on so many people. How she talked openly about mental illness, addiction, ageism, sexism and so much more…How she could laugh at herself and be so brutally honest…but the world knows how important she was (is).

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She is Princess Leia, Leia the Huttslayer, General Organa. She is an actor, a writer, a comedian, a powerhouse…she is brilliant, beautiful, talented and an inspiration…and she will be missed by so many.

My thoughts go out to her family at this time.

May the force be with you, General Organa.