I think she was really the first love for most boys my age. My wife didn’t seem to understand why I cried the first time I saw the trailer for Force Awakens. I had to explain that for a creative type that when you were younger and you played with your Star Wars toys that you had to create new adventures because there weren’t any. Then at 36 here it was. The adventures were continuing. They were real. Everything my mind had made up as a kid could now be real. It was everything I had wanted my whole life without realizing it.
Princess Leia of course played into that. Seeing the original Star Wars trilogy when I did at 5 years old (or even before for all I remember) it bonded deeply to my soul. Everything I did from then forward had Star Wars involved somehow even if it wasn’t apparent at first. Somewhere in the back of my mind it would always be there in every interaction. Even as a grown man I can’t pick up a flashlight without making the Lightsaber noise in my head when I turn it on.
But enough about that. This is about Love right? After watching what became A New Hope you immediately put yourself into the movie. When you hear Luke says those words “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m Hear To Rescue You.” you want to put yourself in that spot. You want to be the one that is there to rescue the Princess. You want to be the hero that blows up the Death Star. I think that wanting to protect the Princess makes you fall in love with her. Especially at 5 years old. You immediately feel that protective bond. Plus she’s pretty awesome. You find out that she’s not just some damsel in distress. And you find out later on she’s actually pretty bad ass herself. But that first moment of seeing her on screen will connect with me forever. I fell in love with her without even realizing what that was. Of course when I got older it became about the gold bikini because I’m a man and puberty does awful things to your brain but at 5 that unabashed love was there.
Seeing her again in Force Awakens made me get butterflies in my stomach. Seeing your first love again. I know Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher are not the same but try telling 5 year old me that. So when I read that she had had a heart attack I was sad and upset. Waking up to the news this morning that Carrie Fisher had passed destroyed me. Thank you. For a long time you were my only hope.