starwars: leia aim

May the Force Be With You

I owe my current self to two fictional people: Spock and Princess Leia. Spock taught me that nerdy could be cool and logic could save you when emotion couldn't. Princess Leia showed me what kind of woman I wanted to be. When I was a little girl, I loved all the "boy" shows, like Transformers and Thundercats and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Every Saturday morning, I would turn on the TV and wait to see the girl character -- there was only ever one -- do something cool. If I was lucky, she might make a really important phone call, or get kidnapped by the bad guy so the good guys could rescue her. I watched the Smurfs religiously in the hope vain hope of seeing Smurfette do something other than, well, be a girl.

And then I saw Star Wars. Princess Leia was the woman I'd been looking for, even though my four-year-old self would never have been able to articulate it. She fired weapons and gave orders and resisted interrogation and looked pretty without sacrificing her intelligence. I watched Star Wars on a continuous loop just to see her. As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate her character even more. She's a genocide survivor. In A New Hope, she closed her eyes every time she fired her blaster and stared vaguely at the controls of the Millennium Falcon; by Return of the Jedi, she was a crack shot who could fly the ship herself. The movies are theoretically about Luke, but while he was running off to Jedi training and whining at his master, she stayed behind, learning the skills she needed to contribute to the Rebellion.

I can't find it in me to be sad right now because I'm just so grateful to have had a Princess Leia in my life.
And then she grew up to be someone who stayed and faced the hard shit when even her brother, the Jedi who went through the Hero's Journey, couldn't or wouldn't. There is literally no one cooler or more badass than goddamn Princess Leia and I cried yesterday when the news broke.

I wanted to grow up to be Leia.
Yeah, awesome Character, awesome actor.

I was so very much formed by Spock, too. Showed me you could be of two heritages and also, be cool while science-y.
Thank you for reminding me. I guess the old saying applies here too: better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. We're lucky to have had her as an example. She was there when we needed her, and that's the most important thing.