December 6, 2023

The galaxy far, far away…has lost its brightest star

It is always a traumatic time when a major movie franchise loses one its crown jewels upon the screen, but when that loss transcends to reality the passing is always a bitter pill to swallow. This loss was profound, one I have never quite experienced before in the fandom of Star Wars. The loss of Kenny Baker was a body blow to us all, especially in the aftermath of last years Star Wars Celebration Europe where, the legendary R2-D2 actor had been signing autographs and posing for photographs with his devoted fans. But as tragic as his passing was, we could take a sliver of consolation from the fact that the character would live on in future movies and his legacy would transcend the ages for all eternity…

This time however, we are afforded none of that solace…

The loss of our beloved Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher in the aftermath of the festive period came as a blow to us all and the social outpouring of emotion from the fan base has reminded me just how special our Star Wars family truly is. In a time of unfathomable tragedy, the fans have united as they always do to rally around one another and provide that emotional crutch that many of us were in desperate need of.

The Future of the Force team were no different.

Within minutes of the horrendous news breaking, the team swiftly came together to support one another before taking to social media to alert our beloved readers to the sudden loss. The response was amazing. Every fan, despite the profound sorrow was quick to pledge their respect for the amazing actress who not only gave Princess Leia her unshakable character but had embraced the fans in the finest possible way. Not only was Carrie an icon, but she was a smart and funny character that brightened every room she entered. Her influence spread from the screen to the written page as she offered her writing services for books and movie scripts as well as appearing in several revered movies.

Her role in the Blues Brothers deserves special consideration in this case, due in part to her zeal and gritty portrayal of the jilted lover of Joliet Jake Blues, but also for the energy she brought to the character, this despite her well documented problems with drugs and alcohol.

Like many other fans of my generation, I became infatuated with Princess Leia and her flamboyant slave attire. My initial viewing of Return of the Jedi came at the age of five but as I grew, the iconic character dressed in her golden bikini came to serve as my first foray into the realm of the female form. In a word, the image was breath-taking and will always hold a special place within the boundaries of my soul despite having grown older and more seasoned in such things.

She had been thrust into the public spotlight once again in recent years with the onset of the Star Wars sequels that began with The Force Awakens in 2015. Being the amazing woman she was, Carrie returned to the role of Leia Organa and quickly reminded us just how irreplaceable she truly was. Just as the legendary Harrison Ford did with Han Solo, Carrie gave another stellar performance that belied the actuality that a thirty-year time frame separated The Force Awakens from her last performance as the character.

Though her screen time was greatly reduced compared to previous outings, she was afforded a larger role in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi which is due to hit our cinema screens within the year. We can take solace from the fact that her scenes for the movie have been completed and we can look forward to her farewell appearance almost a year after her tragic death.

This however cannot hide the fact that our beloved Princess Leia makes a guest appearance in the sublime Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I had the misfortunate timing of having a screening booked mere hours after the tragic news broke which proved to be a test of my endurance. The onset of her much-loved theme caused an outpour of emotion, but that paled in comparison to her appearance in the movies finale which proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Dressed in the brilliant white robes of A New Hope, she turned to face the audience and uttered the word “Hope” and I fell to pieces in a way I had not expected. I had presumed to endure her appearance with solemn respect and the sudden outpouring of emotion revealed the true extent of her loss for me on a personal level. As obvious as it sounds in hindsight of her loss, Princess Leia has been part of my life from my earliest memories and it has taken Carrie’s tragic loss to reveal the character’s true value to me. I have always adored the character in her own right but I don’t think I truly estimated how much until now.

The role of Princess Leia has ensured that her persona will live on for all eternity, but her appearance in Star Wars The Last Jedi will undoubtedly be a bittersweet experience for us all. My admiration for her will only elevate in the future and the loss of both Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia has ensured my eternal appreciation for my icons upon the silver screen, both battling Stormtroopers and saving our beloved galaxy far, far away…

In the meantime, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is available to own on Blu-Ray and DVD now. My advice to you is to watch it again, but this time take a moment to truly appreciate the splendour of our beloved Leia for the penultimate time before her farewell appearance in The Last Jedi.

All that is left to say is…thank you Carrie Fisher.

Thank you for being my first love and for holding my hand throughout my childhood as I grew up within the galaxy far, far away. I will never forget the mark you have left upon my life and, just as the rest of your beloved fans around the world I will forever remember you as my beloved Leia, Princess not just to a galaxy, but to a fragile and hectic reality.

May The Force Be With Us all…

And may it protect our beloved Carrie Fisher.

Gone but never forgotten.

Thank You


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