Carrie Fisher R.I.P.

It feels impossible that she’s passed away. All of that personality and wit just — extinguished. But is it? She made such a mark on the world of Star Wars fans and non Star Wars fans alike, that she’ll never be forgotten. To add to the sense of tragedy, she was only 60 years old. But she did a lot in that 60 years. As a positive role model to other people with mental health issues, she was helpfully candid and outspoken about her own problems. As a role model for girls and women, she also had a huge impact. In the movie ‘Star Wars’ she was ostensibly one of only two female characters. But she was tough, independent and more capable than any of those 1970s men. “Into the chute, flyboy!” and “Did you have a plan for getting out?” I don’t think any side-burned, hairy-chested men would dare joke that she couldn’t read a map. I think you can get a sense of that even in my page today. I wonder if 70s male 9 year old me admired her, or thought she was just a pain in the arse? I suspect there was a mix of the two.

Princess Leia star wars comic page detail

Sometimes—not often—I did her beauty some justice

She was probably also one of the first women that I tried to draw, with varying degrees of success, as you can see here! After Farrah, she was probably also my first long-lasting onscreen-crush.

I take some solace in knowing that she experienced something of a renaissance in popularity in the last 2 years—admittedly largely due to the new Star Wars productions. But she said she was fine with that association long ago, which is quite something when you consider her many creative facets and talents. She even spoke with pride of ‘slave girl’ Leia strangling her captor to death with the very chain that had bound her to him. In addition to her intellectual and creative capabilities, that’s not a bad role model at all.

Farewell Carrie.

early/mid 1978? | age 9/10? This is another funny scene in Star Wars. I sometimes wonder if it’s these scenes between the actors which really made the film endure over 4 decades. Jeez… Leia’s a bit of a cow though isn’t she? Calling poor Chewie a big walking carpet. I mean, that’s pretty racist!

han solo and chewbacca comic page detail

“Yeah, Chewie. She sure is one.”

And we non-blue-blooded people in the audience love the way Han Solo shows the Senator-Princess so little respect. The upstart rogue treats her as if she’s merely of the same class as everyone else. Know your place, Solo!

darth vader and ben kenobi comic page detail

Darth’s already got the lightsaber out

A Cast of Thousands: She’s (gasp) beautiful!

I swear to God, this site needs a Leia Gallery; or perhaps a full cast-list—with photos. Luke’s been played by «Patrick Mower among others and now Carrie Fisher has stepped aside so the lovely Rachel Roberts can take a stab at a scene. Funnily enough, Leia would end up with a similarly horrible hairstyle in The Force Awakens in about 4 decades hence! I believe Carrie Fisher has referred to the style seen at the end of the film as a Baboon Ass. Perhaps it’ll be changed with CGI in a few years. That’s one change that I’d welcome!

rachel roberts in picnic at hanging rock

Radiant Beauty. Today’s Leia is played by the late Rachel Roberts. Later to achieve fame in Picnic at Hanging Rock

Vader’s on the prowl—lightsaber at the ready (much better than the film of course—silly George) flanked by useless Stormtroopers. Honestly, why does he bother with those guys? And Ben slips away from the tractor beam controls unnoticed. “SKLIK!” —through a borrowed Star Trek door. George and the designers used ANYTHING they could get their hands on to build the sets.

He’s no Gentleman

han solo played by steve pemberton

And… Harrison Ford steps aside for one panel for the League of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton!

do as i say says leia

Chaykin’s Marvel comic version

Jesus—isn’t Leia an absolute witch though? She obviously made quite an impression on me after only one viewing! You’ll notice however that in Howard Chaykin’s drawing (right)—which I tried to copy, making her cheekbone shadow look like a side-burn—Leia still looks gorgeous even though she’s so angry.

Humans really had top-spot on this film. She’s actually racist towards Chewie! We could get into the whole, ‘there are no non-white humans in ‘Star Wars’ and only one woman, but that’s a pretty well-trodden debate at this stage. Unfortunately: it was the seventies—for better or worse. It’s no excuse, but I suppose it’s the major part of the reason. Heck, George Lucas himself is now married to a black woman.

Though I have to say that even as a 9 or 10 year old in the seventies, I was pretty shocked and annoyed by the things that some of my friends or relatives would come out with regarding people of other colour. Especially 3 of my relatives from the UK.

. . .