Tribute to a Princess

Jondee here on Alderaan,

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There is sadness at the loss of Carrie Frances Fisher today, our thoughts and prayers were with her and her family as she was recovering from her heart attack on a flight from London on Friday, December 23rd. Heart conditions are very difficult. I have a weak heart and have lost a few friends to heart problems. We saw her return to the big screen with The Force Awakens and she had finished shooting Episode Eight. Her character was now a general, leader of the Resistance, and a mother. Leia’s entrance was an event for that film, bringing back her rapport with Harrison Ford’s character, this is the Leia we all knew. It was also interesting that her daughter, Billie Lourd (from the Scream Queens program), was in the film as Lieutenant Connix rumored to have an expanded role in Episode Eight.  I haven’t seen Carrie Fisher’s first cinematic appearance in Warren Beatty’s Shampoo (1975), but her part was chronicled in her book, The Princess Diarist. So a side note, her greatest strength was her writing, Fisher’s creativity was crafting her life into tales like Postcards from the Edge (1987) which was made into a film in 1990 with Meryl Streep and Wishful Drinking (2008), made into a documentary in 2010. She was a known script doctor for Hollywood productions. She wrote an episode of the Young Indiana Jones television series, “Paris, October 1916” (1993) for Lucasfilm. I do remember the strange comedy Under the Rainbow (1981), kinda shocking her stripping down to her underclothes. I later saw her small part in The Blue Brothers (1980), I think Fisher didn’t care about her image so much as amusing herself with film roles. The one part that I did find funny was in Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) which had Carrie play Mary Brown, pure parody of the ingenue caught in Hollywood corruption. The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) was reviled by Lucas and some, but I take it as campy, surreal fun. The best par of course was Fisher singing “A Day to Celebrate”, the Life Day song, she has a lovely voice considering her talented mother, Debbie Reynolds, this is our song as Star Warriors.

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Princess Leia, she was the prominent female figure for all Star Warriors, her attitude was perfect, gave the edge that was impossible for other actresses to follow in a science fiction part. The awkwardness of the lines don’t matter. Everything about her was iconic, the white dress, the hair style, she refers to as the “Buns of Navarone” in The Princess Diarist. Fisher explained that she was presented different hair styles and chose the Leia Buns which were a style that was out of the Flash Gordon comic strip by Alex Raymond. I think I remember an episode of the Ellen sitcom with Carrie’s sister Joely Fisher had a joke about cinnamon buns and the hair. Ellen and Carrie wore the hair buns in a bit about selling tickets to TFA. So she took it in stride as comedy material. I know as a kid playing with my action figures that I had to bring in my Leia figure, it just wasn’t Star Wars if Leia was left out. Then, of course there was Return of the Jedi, yes the metal bikini. Honestly, I was more horrified by Jabba than intrigued by Leia’s slave girl bikini. It really is a nod to Dejah Thoris in the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Also, there is the contrast of Leia as an Earth Mother in her Ewok dress and also her uniform as a soldier complete with helmet and poncho. It was stunning to see her in person at Comic Con in 2004. She was very nice and signed photos of Leia in the bikini. The second day of the 2015 Celebration, April 17, was the Date with a Princess panel. They brought up a stage of cosplayers, mostly in the white ANH dress, a few Bespin dresses, some slave Leias, and also some in the Endor poncho. James Arnold Taylor came out with a video of him following a Princess Leia, then Carrie Fisher came out with her dog Gary. She talked with Taylor a bit before he screened the Ross fantasy clip from Friends where Carrie sat on the stage to watch it. She signed Taylor’s shoe. It was a surreal convention appearance. She loved Star Warriors and all of her fans. We last saw her in an almost surreal appearance in Rogue One.  “We celebrate a day of peace, a day of harmony, a day of joy we can all share.” We will never forget our princess.

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