A Lifelong Geek Girl Tries to Process Today

Even though I think we all sort of knew it was coming (certainly, a number of news outlets and geek blogs were expecting it, for how quickly they got their articles published), Carrie Fisher’s passing earlier today has left all of us stunned, sad, and trying to decide how we each want to process it. Many are reflecting on her body of work both as an actress and as a writer. Many are reflecting on the way she moved through the world, warts and all. Many women are reflecting on how much Fisher’s iconic role Princess Leia has impacted their lives.

That’s pretty much where I’m sitting. I wasn’t quite two when Star Wars was released, so I really never knew a world where there wasn’t this sassy princess helping to smuggle information, unafraid to take up whatever was necessary (be it words, arms, or chains) to protect herself and those dear to her, and walking that line between being assertive and compassionate at the same time. And then The Force Awakens happened, and those of us who met Leia as children were suddenly gifted with this beautiful example of how to age gracefully (and thank Fisher for fighting for that).

No matter how you look at it, Leia was a badass. So was Fisher.

Because this is the last week of a year that hasn’t played nice with anyone on any level, a lot of us are looking at this afternoon’s grim announcement through a lens of, “How can I be that level of badass in my own life? My own communities? My own work?”

And it’s not like we were all asleep and are just waking up. It’s that so many of us were already starting to think about these questions when, one last time, Leia inspired us with her own journey. When Carrie Fisher inspired us, one last time, with her journey. The question now is how do we honor that in our own lives, to show our gratitude for her facing and fighting demons of all shapes and sizes?

This is going to take some time…

Someone on Twitter reminded everyone that Kenny Baker also passed away this year. He passed away in August. Erik Bauersfeld, who played Admiral Ackbar, passed away in April. This hasn’t been a good year for Star Wars people.

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