Can I call you Carrie? You would probably simultaneously laugh at the question and flip me off for even asking. I want to be honest with you. I only found out how extremely awesome you were a couple of years ago. I also only saw the original Star Wars trilogy in 2015. I never watched them as a kid, and the only reason I watched them last year was because my fiancé sat me down to watch them before we went to see The Force Awakens. Even after seeing the original trilogy, I didn't quite comprehend the importance of Leia. It was only after leaving Episode VII that I could fully understand what she meant to the franchise, to the world, to me. The princess and the general. The woman who lost everything time and time again and was never tempted by the dark side. The perfect character to represent who you, a beautifully complex woman.
I want to thank you for being such a raw, brutally, and beautifully honest person. Your openness about your struggle with bipolar disorder has been a vital influence on my identity as a writer. Your ability to write and talk about you mental illness opened the door for me and countless others to help end the stigma against those of us living and thriving despite (and because of) our mental illness.
You were far from perfect, perfectly embodying what we should aspire towards. You were always yourself, never shying away from how you saw the world. By supporting artists, you made art better. By being a script doctor, you paved the way for smarter, funnier movies and television. By starring in The Force Awakens, you made it possible for women to age on screen. And you flipped off anyone who said otherwise.
I don't want to think about how sad we're all going to be when we see you in Episode VIII. But I know you'd laugh at us for even thinking about crying. So I'll try to smile when you grace the screen. As the tears form in my eyes while I write this, I remember the quote that has inspired us:
Once it was proposed to me that it was all right to be like I am, I finally quit apologizing for it.
So I won't apologize for crying, because that is who I am.
Thank you for being you. For showing girls and women that to become a princess general we just need to show up and do the work. That shutting down patriarchal bullshit is an art form that can only be perfected with time. That being loud and obnoxious isn't just for men, and that it's necessary to remind them of that. When they put you in a metal bikini, you choke your oppressors with it.
May you always guide the Force for us,