Just when you think 2016 can't get any worse.

 

As you probably already know by now, Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars, has died after suffering a massive heart attack last week. She was only 60.

I never had the chance to meet Carrie Fisher, but she was among a group of actors whose characters and stories made my childhood magical. I was born in 1976, but the original Star Wars is one of the first movies I have dim memories of watching as a very young child, along with Superman The Movie and the Star Trek films.

I went on to watch the original Star Wars trilogy countless times over the last 30 + years of my life. Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia was probably the first strong female character I was ever familiar with and all other heroines had to live up to her. Princess Leia wasn't a damsel in distress even when she was. She was tough, intelligent, sarcastic, and also absolutely gorgeous. She was very likely my first fictional crush, though I also found Carrie Fisher herself funny, charming, and always attractive, even when she was bashed for her appearance in later years. She struggled with addiction and weight gain, yet managed to triumph. Most people didn't know that she was not only an actor, but also an accomplished script doctor and author.

I'm sad for Carrie Fisher's family and friends, but as a fan of her character, I have to wonder what will become of Leia in the future films. Episode VIII (the sequel to The Force Awakens) finished filming months ago and will be released next December. What will happen to Leia in Episode IX? Will her character be written out of the story, or will CGI be used to pay tribute to her legacy as it was used in Rogue One? Time will tell. Until then, rest in peace, Princess. You deserve it.