Carrie Fisher’s death on December 27 was very sad news for me, as it was for many people around the world.
I know she was so much more than the actress who played Princess Leia, but just that one role would have been enough to fill a lifetime. Carrie gave women of my generation something new and unforgettable: a gutsy heroine who could hold her own on the big screen; a mythic and iconic woman warrior who stood up to arch villains and played hardball with the boys.
In A New Hope, Princess Leia was the leader of the rebel cause, facing off with Darth Vader and deeply embroiled in resistance long before Luke or Han had a clue what was going on. Decades later, when the old crew was reunited for The Force Awakens, Leia was still charging into battle, even waging war against her own son, while her former male companions had run away from the fight.
Ironically, Leia never had many lines in any of the Star Wars movies. Even so, she was clearly a woman in charge of her own destiny, a leader much admired by her people. Her decisions and actions mattered in the grand scheme of things. She made history, in her world and in ours.
Through her portrayal of Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher inspired me in more ways than I can do justice to here. As a girl, I’d never seen anything like her in a movie before. She was a new kind of heroine for a new generation. That moment of revelation has stayed with me ever since.
Every woman I’ve ever written into my stories – whether young or old, warrior or pacifist, good or bad – has had a little bit of Princess Leia dust sprinkled on her; a touch of magic that has made them soar.
Rest in peace, Carrie Fisher. You lived a full and worthy life. You were greatly loved, and you will be greatly missed. And though you are no longer with us, your legacy lives on, in our stories and in our hearts, and in the ways we choose to live our lives. May we all be as brave as you were.