Death of a princess

I admit it: when I was growing up, I loved to imagine that I was Princess Leia. Strong, yet also a damsel in distress who needed just a little bit of help to be rescued. In the romance genre world, it would be called the “meet cute,” which is just as it sounds: the character meets the cute guy or gal who steals their heart. Fortunately at the time, I was too young to realize the ick factor of Luke being her brother, but that was probably all right since I always liked Han Solo better anyway. Yeah, that was life growing up in the ‘70’s.

By the time I learned that Carrie Fisher had had a heart attack, she was in stable condition at the hospital. It was the same reaction I had when I heard about Harrison Ford’s plane crash: thank goodness they are okay.

To learn that Carrie Fisher had left his world feels like a piece of my childhood just got put away into a music box as if it were a precious memory too painful to wear any more, not to dissimilar than putting away a necklace given to you by a boyfriend you adored but broke up with. I had the same sense of loss when Leonard Nimoy died.

Star Wars and Star Trek… two shows that influenced my childhood so greatly.These shows taught me to use my imagination and let me be free to run and play as I chose. I didn’t have to be bound to earth in our present time, but could go anywhere through space and time that I wished. I played in these worlds on my father’s ranch and it transported me far beyond my little town. Once I discovered this power, there was no stopping me. I could be anywhere.

I’m sure I’m no different than thousands of other people growing up at that time. But let us take a moment to really consider what these stories were trying to tell us and why they remain so popular today.

I personally believe that it is because they both had the underlying premise of a better world. In Star Trek, earthlings were exploring and trying to establish friendly contact with other races. It showed that we could all get along if we tried and those that were truly bad or bullies were always defeated. Who doesn’t give a little that-puts-you-in-your-place smile when they think about the Romulans getting a shipful of Tribbles? Yeah, that’s karma, baby!

With Star Wars, we had people rising up to overcome evil. So maybe they weren’t perfect, like Han, who was rough around the edges and running barely ahead of his debts. But when it counted, they came together with the hope of making the galaxy better.

As we approach the new year, let us reflect on the things that have influenced our lives. And in memory of Carrie Fisher, let’s be honest with ourselves and see if there’s any aspect of our lifestyle where we might be cheating others of our presence so that we can eliminate it in the new year. As Wayne Dyer, another soul lost from this world, said, “Don’t die with your music still in you.”

That “music” might just influence the lives of a generation or two.


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