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Dec 27, 2016

My happy thoughts about Carrie and heroines getting old



Update: Carrie has now died.


The pre Christmas news of Carrie Fisher suffering a heart attack and requiring resuscitation by passengers on the same flight was a sobering reminder of how quick things can change.

A couple of months ago my fit and health cousin had a similar event and nearly died but bounced back well. The same may not be said for Carrie and only time will tell.

We sincerely wish her the best.

Carrie's heart attack caused me to think about the first time I ever saw her character Leia in action. Somehow my brothers and I had been given a copy of Star Wars on VHS. I vaguely recall my father may have had it dubbed. I was probably 7 or 8 years old if I recall correctly. 

Pretty soon we see this massive space ship flying across our crappy television and it was awesome. I will never forget the part where Leia plays a bit of hide and seek with the Stormtroopers. She was clearly up to the task and knew what she was doing. 

I didn't realise it at the time but she was the first truly 'brave' and 'heroic' and female lead I think I had come across. Sure I may have seen another actress play a strong role but nothing to my mind sticks out. 

Later in the movie, Leia sort of has to re rescue herself as her rescuers find themselves stuck in the prison block. Seeing her fire some blaster shots and yell instructions about getting 'into the garbage shoot fly boy' showed she was bad ass.

In 40 years of cinema, there have only been two truly bad ass female science fiction heroines. You can surely name the other one. Her cat called Jonesy went missing...

And that's it.  

Which is probably why the news of the Carrie's troubles went around the world faster than pictures of children caught in Allepo. 

I think my favourite Princess Leia moment is at the start of Return of the Jedi.

Having made her way into Jabba's Palace in disguise as Bosch, she thought she had pulled off a great rescue of Han Solo and when he was free from the carbonite she responds to his question with "Someone who loves you, now let's movie it fly boy".

At least that's how I remember it.

I haven't scene a version of Jedi where she actually says that. I suspect the line was changed but I've never found any evidence. 

I liked this moment as even as a young kid sitting in the theatre watching Jedi as I remembered the line that Leia said all the way back in the movie which was only known then as Star Wars (to me!).

Or maybe it's just a romantic idea I have in my head. 

Leia shooting the Storm Trooper in Return of the Jedi as Han covers her was always a fun moment, as was when she met Wicket. Kids loved Wicket and the Ewoks!

So that small trip down memory lane brings us back to the harsh reality of life. 

While Carrie Fisher lies in a hospital bed, possibly near death, we can be thankful that we will probably make it through until tomorrow. 

Yes, our heroes and heroines get old, and they do die (wait until Clint Eastwood goes back to collect a few dollars more, your Dad WILL cry) and while we personally don't know our Carries, Hamills or Fords, we can be happy for their small parts in our lives. 

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