Here comes the General

264981_10100610153264917_986997695_nGrowing up, I always wanted to be a princess, but for some reason, the “princess mold” never fit well with me. I preferred blue jeans and baseball hats, balanced with tea parties and makeup. Perpetually mouthy, I use my sarcasm and self-deprecation to diffuse any situation. Like millions of others, I grew up loving Princess Leia – my snarky, no-bullshit role model. And like those millions, I am heartbroken that the fearless, courageous, and inimitable Carrie Fisher is now gone.

In a world filled with smoke and mirrors, infected by selfies and photo filters, there aren’t many real people anymore. Carrie Fisher stood out among the masses with her middle fingers and punchy remarks; she was a true leader of the rebellion against bullshit. I’ve followed her on Twitter for some time now, clinging to every emojii-filled quip, and adoring her cheek, or simply, her beloved dog Gary.

But last week, the world became an emptier place when Carrie suddenly passed. Fucking Christmas. Unfortunately, Carrie didn’t leave the hospital, and she left us mere mortals to fight 2017 alone. Carrie Fisher was only 60 years young. She was less than a year older than my own mother. That’s too damn soon, people. Just last year, she proved to everyone in Hollywood that you absolutely CAN age as a female actress and be a total fucking badass, beautiful heroine. She was flawless, and I loved every moment of General Leia on the big screen. Through tears, I watched as she lost Han, not knowing just one year later, I’d be crying because I lost her.

Roller Derby Leia, at Star Wars: Celebration
Roller Derby Leia, at Star Wars: Celebration

Quite frankly, this is the hardest celebrity death to hit me. I’ve cried more over this than over people I’ve known. I always had the dream to meet Carrie, but I never had the money to stand in line and get the pleasure.

I’ll never forget attending Star Wars: Celebration here in Orlando; she was a guest and her autograph line spanned the length of the exhibit hall. There was no way I was meeting her. We stood about 20 feet outside of the autograph and photo spaces, attempting to peer in between the inch-wide cracks in the curtains just for a single glimpse. Was that … that’s Mark Hamill, isn’t it? OH MY GOD IS IT? WAIT, IS THAT? AHHHHH.

Leia and Han’s love story was the main inspiration for our 2012 wedding. I even walked down the aisle to Princess Leia’s theme.

It was a few minutes after we identified a pair of shapes as “probably” Mark Hamill and “maybe” Carrie Fisher that a friend trotted up to us with a tale. He had been in line for Carrie Fisher. A gentleman ahead of him pulled out a giant Star Wars poster with almost all of the Star Wars cast autographs on it. We’re talking old-school autographs, acquired over a period of years. The poster was plastered in sharpie scrawls, and Carrie Fisher was one of the last autographs it needed. Carrie, being as spectacular as ever, obliged and signed the poster … except … she signed it: “Suck my dick.”

This threw the guy into such a fit of rage that he ripped the poster up, to the horror of all. I remember hearing that story and realizing at that moment just how much I loved Carrie Fisher. While she could have simply signed her name and fit within his mold, she broke away and left her characteristic sass emblazoned on the paper. That poster would have been worth so much money with that unique sendoff, and it’s a story I will never forget.

So that’s how I’d like to remember her, my princess, and my general. She may have drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra, but she will forever remind me to rebel, hope, sass, and most importantly, never apologize for telling a stranger to fuck off.

Thank you for everything, General. And until next time, keep those stiffs on their toes.

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