This year at New York Comic Con, Alyssa and I were standing backstage with a YA author, waiting for her car to arrive. We were talking about the panel that we had all attended earlier in the day and about the best sushi place to eat in New York.
Behind us was a petite woman who was covered in glitter holding a small dog. She was talking about how Gary had traveled so well. As she finished her sentence a man opened the door and said, “Miss Fisher, we’re ready for you.”
We all turned and looked as the voice that no one can ever forget turned to the door and said, “It’s just Carrie.” She then walked past us and smiled. We all turned to each other, dumbstruck. There were no words, but us all going, “That is Carrie Fisher.”
And then squealing like fangirls.
It never occurred to us that we wouldn’t see her again. She shined as she walked past – covered in glitter and smiling. And that will always be the way that I remember Carrie Fisher.
Yesterday, with the news of her passing the writers of Fangirlish were grief stricken. Crying at desks, taking moments out of work, and just trying everything that we could to get through.
Carrie Fisher meant so much to all of us, for different reasons.
Chloe: Although I grew up watching Star Wars, it’s only in recent years that I truly came to appreciate Carrie Fisher for the amazing person that she was. Her fierce wit, humor, outspokenness about mental illness, and continued fondness for Princess Leia and the Star Wars fandom are just a few of the things that made her incredible. Thank you, Carrie, for showing girls everywhere that you can be a princess and a badass – not to mention kind, smart, caring, and awesome. I look forward to reading your books, and I can’t believe you’re gone.
Rachel: Carrie Fisher is the best hero a girl like me could have asked for. She taught us all that we don’t have to apologize for who we are. Her determination to be an advocate for mental health made us all aware of how important it is to make sure we are mentally sound. Carrie wanted us all to be our best selves and we owe it to her to continue to do that.
Sarah: Carrie Fisher was a lady who I knew best as a outer space badass that I will never forget. In our world I loved how she was always unapologetically herself blunt and fierce and made me feel less out of place for acting in a similar way myself sometimes (well the blunt part at least). Whether here on earth or out in a faraway galaxy she left an impression I’ll always be grateful for so thank you and hats off to my princess general and favorite all around I’ll miss you *hugs* RIP
I remember watching Star Wars for the first time when I was 8. We did it the proper way, beginning with A New Hope. I instantly connected with Princess Leia and how as soon as she’s saved, she picks up a blaster and continues the fight. She was iconic, legendary. As I got older, I began to admire Carrie Fisher for her strength, her presence and simply the way she dealt with fame. It’s rare to see that kind of force and it’s something I think everyone loved about Carrie.
As I write this, I’m in Disney World and I can’t think of a better way to honor her legacy, surrounded by little girls running around with Princess Leia buns, fighting with lightsabers and being themselves. May the force be with you Carrie. You gave us so much and each and every day I hope we can honor you!
Danielle: I didn’t know Carrie Fisher very well. I’m not a Star Wars fan, but I somehow still felt so badly when I’d heard of her passing. What I loved about her though, was how she strived for mental health awareness and wasn’t shy about her own struggles with addiction. She made it okay to talk about and push through your own pain to come out a better person. She left an enormous legacy behind, and she will be greatly missed. My prayers go out to her mother Debbie Reynolds, daughter Billie Lourd, and the rest of her family.
Lizzie: Though Star Wars was a bit before my time, I still grew up on it, watched it religiously as a kid, owned many toys. Most of them were Princess Leia. At the time when girls looked up mostly to Disney princesses, Leia Organa was my princess, my role model. Because she smiled, looked pretty and sported awesome braids, but she didn’t need a man to save her. Because her whole planet literally exploded and she still kept going, living, fighting, leading, and most importantly, feeling. Later on in my life, when I was feeling sad, or depressed, though, it wasn’t just Princess Leia who comforted me, it was Carrie Fisher herself, with her openness, her wit, her gift for being unapologetically herself. She taught me both that I could do anything and that I could be me, without being ashamed. And she will always hold a special place in my heart for that.
Lynnie: A gravitational singularity is where gravity approaches infinity. Space and time cease to exist in this universe maker, and conventional laws of physics cease to apply. When a star collapses and a black hole forms, a gravitational singularity is formed.
The metaphor is trite, lacking. It lacks the nuance of words sculpted until they bleed out the honesty we all need, but they define the scope of who Carrie Fisher was to me.
Carrie Fisher was a star. Not just in the Hollywood sense, but in the way that she was larger than the world, larger than her mind could contain, larger and brighter than we had any right witness. She did not belong to us. She belonged to herself. We were allowed to witness her glow, her messy moments, her humor, her wit, her ability.
As a princess she inspired. She had the rough task of being the only woman in a galaxy of heroes. She shouldered it with grace and humor. She made me believe. As a writer she pulled you in. She somehow managed to make you understand, make you see, even if you had no intention to see at all. She cut out the bullshit and revealed the underlying message with honesty and a wicked smile. As a woman, as a human being, she dominated. She used the wit that made her characters so believable, and her writing so engrossing, and she defied everything you thought her to be. She dared you to think. She caught you unawares. She promised you never to settle for some lesser person’s mediocre thought. She showed the world that it was okay to be who you were without someone else’s need to dictate.
She was her own infinite gravity.
Stars wobble, and they spin. They blink out of existence, and they alter the framework of everything you thought you knew. They shift entire galaxies. Sometimes they pull you in, creating gravity that is so infinite, so impossible to resist, that it cannot be ignored. They aren’t perfect, but they are real, complex, and so worth studying.
Carrie was a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, she was the character that made me believe that girls could be the hero. She was the reason I watched Harry Met Sally and fell in love. She was the strength I needed to know that my anxiety wasn’t the end. She was the wit I aspired to be in my writing and in my screenplays. She has been the reason I continue to search beyond myself. Her example set dared me to stay true to myself, to stay honest, to stay brave, and to meet whatever adventure I find with tenacity, intelligence, and a certainty that my star is better for having come into her orbit, if only in the movies.
Her gravitational pull is forever, limitless, and breaks all sense of space and time. She will not be forgotten.
Lauren: It’s so hard to sum up everything that made Carrie Fisher such a great human being. I think one of the biggest lessons that I tool from her was that, it’s okay to be a bit of a mess. Every interview she did was unapologetically genuine and honest and she was never ashamed of who she was. All these different aspects of her and the anecdotes that made up her life were just pieces of her whole.
Our hearts are breaking. Carrie Fisher, you will never be forgotten.
You can read one of writers account on how Carrie’s mental health advocacy inspired her here.