Dear Carrie Fisher,
I don’t know exactly how to write this. We weren’t acquaintances, so writing a personal letter seems, well, strange. Yet like millions of fans around the world, I mourn your passing in a very intimate fashion. The character of Princess Leia, made unique in a time and in a way that only you could, will live on in our culture. But more importantly, you and what you brought to the world through her will live on in the hearts of your fans.
I could go on about Leia for sometime. And why not? You made her a strong, independent woman that could inspire loyalty and hope not merely through beauty but through actions; she was a take-charge woman that was confounded by the idea that she needed to be coddled and wouldn’t hesitate to take a blaster and do the dirty work herself. These characteristics of Leia would turn out to the characteristics of you, as evidenced by your essays and writing, most notably Postcards From the Edge where you discussed, unabashedly, your struggles with alcohol and drugs through the character of Suzanne, struggles that many of us never knew about but could relate to and understand. Many of us will be forever grateful for that courage and the courage it inspired in us.
Always it seemed your self-confidence, wit, and independence were on display for the world to see. Several years ago I met you at a signing in Cincinnati, OH, and while all of the aforementioned traits were visible, it was your interaction with the fans that made the experience such a delight. We knew that you appreciated us as much as we appreciated you. You would take time to answer questions and tell humorous stories, and even sneak in an extra signed picture here and there when no one was watching (thanks for that, by the way). You were truly a unique person all your own, as unique as the roles you played and as iconic as any celebrity. You were who you were and your detractors be damned.
And so that is what I and the rest of your fans will take with us. You were a rebel both onscreen and off that inspired millions in one way or another to find and hold on to hope. You will be sorely missed. May the Force be with you as soar among the clouds.