2016 came for Princess Leia.
Yesterday, I sat in the cinema with my son and watched Rogue One. (Go see it now. Preferably at a cinema that has been smart enough to realise that Star Wars fans will want to see IV immediately afterwards.) The last scene – that day – was heart-breaking. Don’t worry, no spoilers.
Now I get it. Now I feel like a part of me has been lost, too. The memories of something I cherished, something that has been with me all my life … a part of that is gone.
Star Wars (meaning IV: A New Hope – when I was a kid we just called it Star Wars) is the first film I ever remember seeing. I remember trying to wear a towel like a cape and pretending I was Princess Leia. I remember playing outside with the boys and Star Wars being the only game where they didn’t think it was weird that a girl had a gun, and didn’t relegate me to the tree house/bench/safe spot.
When my mother and I joined my father in Jeddha (again, go see Rogue One) in 1985, we only had 3 films in the apartment. A free one from Sony where a creepy looking French guy jumped out of a girl’s television to explain why Betamax was the right choice, Thunderball and Return of the Jedi.
The only movie documentary I ever sat through was the one where they explained how they re-mastered the original Star Wars movies. (I don’t want to talk about I, II and III.) When my son came along, I couldn’t wait to share them with him. He had light sabres and a Darth Vader mask.
My ex-boyfriend told me about a time, just before we got together, when a bunch of us were having lunch together and I turned to one girl in horror and exclaimed, ‘How can you not like Star Wars?!’ He told his best friend about it that night and they both agreed I was the one for him.
The older Harrison Ford gets the more he looks like my grandfather. I lost him fifteen years ago and still can’t speak of him without crying. Seeing Han Solo on screen in The Force Awakens was like being close to my grandfather again.
So I do get it.
For the first time. I feel part of it.
I have lost something, too.
Now it’s getting late, so the pie and the pet name will have to wait.
I love these artist tributes. I hope Carrie Fisher would have loved them, too.
This one is my favourite, by Julija Néjé.