So I already wrote a while ago a little bit about Rey, from the Force Awakens, and how great it was to have a strong female lead. But of course Princess Leia came first, and was promoted to Bloody Awesome General* in the last film (*official title). I was so looking forward to seeing her lead on in the next one.
I was 8 when Star Wars first hit the big screen. It was exciting times. Whilst wrestling with a bit of tricky maths and having demonstrated to my year 2 class my prowess with French, I was as excited as the next 8 year old about both Star Wars and the Silver Jubilee. The former gave me a bond with David Barclay, as we got whipped up in the frenzy before the rest of the class caught up (ever the trend setter, me) and the latter was left in ruins by a nasty bout of German Measles. I’ve never quite got over the disappointment of missing the sack race and ice cream at school that day, nor of being absent when I won a prize for my collage of the Queen herself, resplendent with an actual string of plastic pearls glued on her wan felt neck, which I’d tried to bring life to with my mum’s blusher. Speaking of Mum – she did get me my first ever Lucozade, then sold as a tonic for the weak and infirm, rather than its current incarnation as a way to fatten up teenagers (sorry, to give them isotonic energy) Regardless, trust me, in the 70s was a real treat as there were no fizzy drinks allowed, unless it was a party.
I digress. So, Princess Leia. Surely the stuff of 8 year old dreams? Her outfits? Her hair? Her amazing sense of humour? Get behind me, Disney princesses in your chintzy dresses, Leia was where the action was. (*although I was less certain in the Return of the Jedi about her revealing two piece. I was a prudish child) And I was massively pissed off that she didn’t have The Force.
And then the woman behind the character. Carrie Fisher was searingly honest, incredibly bright and a force to be reckoned with (sorry). Her appearance on various shows in the past couple of years shows that she hadn’t lost one bit of her joie de vivre nor her wit. An amazing raconteur, with some of her quick responses making the most broad minded blush (* note, I am no longer a prude) and her advice to Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey) on the Graham Norton show last Autumn was equally priceless (watch it here if you haven’t already). Her semi-autobiographical “Postcards from the Edge” was just brilliant, I read it when I was first at college and lent it to so many of our halls of residence it was in tatters by the end- if you haven’t read it then I’d say do.
What has she taught me? That funny, strong women always come out top in the end. That being truthful, brave and authentic will always be far classier than any of the opposite. That I hope I will always channel my inner Carrie at the times I’m suffering from imposter syndrome. That brunettes have more fun and some great outfits.
And that when I’m feeling less than charitable, I shall always bring this quote attributed to her, to the forefront of my mind.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”
Oh Carrie, you really were bloody ace.
**No that’s not me, that’s C-3PO.