I’m not a big celebrity fiend.
I don’t thrive off knowing the latest news in Hollywood, whose dating who, or what A-lister Taylor Swift dumped so she can write a new hit song.
I don’t keep up with the Kardashians, don’t know which gal the Bachelor is not going to actually marry, or what weird name some used-to-be-famous actress named her son.
I’m also not one to get too bent out of shape when a celebrity passes away, after all life happens to all of us, and death most certainly happens to us all.
It’s rare when a celebrity death has an impact on my emotional well-being.
But sometimes, just sometimes, someone passes away and my heart feels a little heavier than it did moments before I found out they passed.
I remember having that feeling after learning Michael Jackson was gone too soon. His music and dancing had an impact on my mom, mine and my brother’s lives.
I remember that feeling again when Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre, passed away. He was the star I grew up watching. The star that never left home.
The feeling returned this morning when our beloved Princess Leia (aka Carrie Fisher) passed away at age 60.
She died of a heart attack, but those that followed her post Return of the Jedi, know that she lived a life full of drugs, alcohol and lots more drugs. That’s not a secret, I read her brilliant, kind of sad, but extremely cleverly-titled memoir Wishful Drinking.
A friend texted me this evening to ask how I was feeling considering I lost my first love.
It took me a second until I realized, Princess Leia was my first love (right before Daisy Duke and years before Jennifer Aniston).
It wasn’t even so much the gold bikini, after all I was six when I saw Jedi in the theaters.
No, it was the strong-willed, blaster-wielding princess, that even though her family was just blown up before her eyes, she was still going to take down the Empire, that I adored so much.
Countless times as a kid I – as Luke Skywalker – ran through the Death Star with Leia, rescued her from a cell block, or later from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt.
Sure, when adolescence hit I realized that the Slave Leia bikini was amazing, and Fisher was … nice to look at, but it was still Princess Leia.
My fantasies of rescuing her turned into fantasies of wanting my real-life love to sport the outfit. I’m still waiting … not for the real-life love but the outfit.
When Lis decided she wanted a short and simple name for our first daughter, and decided on Lia I warned her that we’d forever be told we named her after Star Wars characters, knowing secretly that I thought a) it was super dorky and b) but super cool! NOTE: Lukas is named after Luke Skywalker. I’ve told you this already! And yes, it’s kind of fun to shout, “Luke, Lia … come here!” when we’re at Star Wars events.
So yes, I have my own Princess Lia, and you’re thinking that has nothing to do with Carrie Fisher. Except when I ask you to name two non-Star Wars movies Carrie Fisher was in you’d struggle to name one.
I’ll give you a hint, and another reason I was heartbroken to hear about Fisher’s passing.
Carrie (may I call her Carrie?) also played the attractive Marie in one of my other top-five movies of all-time, When Harry, Met Sally.
What I loved about Fisher was that she embraced the fact that she was Princess Leia, and adored by many, upon many, of fan boys.
She would appear in movies like Fanboys, Robot Chicken: Star Wars, Family Guy‘s Star Wars, and Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, all with a small nod towards Princess Leia.
Her lines inspired fantasy football team names of mine – The Walking Carpets and The Nerfherders – and her hairdos inspired cinnamon buns. Okay, probably not but I needed a reason to end that sentence.
So yah, was I a little sad when I heard of the passing of the iconic Carrie Fisher? Absolutely!
But I thank her for the characters she created, embracing the iconic character post-Star Wars, and then having fun with it and the fans that adored her.
Thank you Carrie!