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#NoCoincidences: Carrie Fisher (12.28.16)

Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Princess Leia in Star Wars, died December 27, 2016. As I reflect on this actress, and her famous movie heroine, I am amazed at the connections with this woman that I knew of but really didn’t know.

I was named after Carrie Fisher’s mother Debbie Reynolds  who was quite the cat’s meow during my parent’s generation. I am forever grateful that my parents did not name me after any of our relatives or any combination of their names. This new, unique identity allowed me to be independent and define myself apart from family stories and expectations. It has allowed me to be me.

I remember seeing Star Wars in the movie theatre when it was released in 1977 when I was 13 years old. I loved the movie, the music, and the characters, but the story didn’t rock my world like it did a lot of other people. I’m a fan of Star Wars, just not a super-fan. I love Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO. Princess Leia didn’t move me. I thought her hairstyle was really weird and very unflattering. Who wants to wear two buns on the side of your head like giant earmuffs?

Throughout the years, several guys have commented to me that I looked like Princess Leia. I used to wear a small bun on the top of my head with the rest of my hair flowing down so maybe that was the connection. The image of Princess Leia cemented in my brain is those giant hair buns on the sides of her head and her wearing a white bed sheet, not the hot version of her as a sex slave prisoner with Jabba the Hutt. Maybe I haven’t been thinking outside of the box with these celebrity look alike comments.

Just this past week, prior to Carrie’s death, I had a conversation with my husband about television and movie characters that influence us or inspire us. As I was walking in the morning, I was reflecting that my husband doesn’t seem to identify with characters in movies or any superheroes. I was brainstorming…he likes the movies Iron ManCaptain AmericaBatmanSherlock HolmesPirates of the Caribbean. None of the characters from those movies seemed to fit. Sure, he has favorite athletes and coaches, but no other connection with make-believe characters. Then, a light bulb turned on and I thought, “Oh, he loves Star Wars. Why does he love it so much? Does he identify with Luke Skywalker? That makes no sense. I know he loves the droids…” So I asked him later in the day, “Is there a character in Star Wars that you identify with?” He smiled at me with a “Duh, Debbie” look and said, “Han Solo.” OMG! Of course. It makes perfect sense. Han Solo is the handsome, sexy, risk-taker, the bad boy that does the right thing, he has a big hairy side-kick Chewbacca (our Cairn Terrier?!?), and he gets the girl. Bingo!

What are the odds that I am named after Debbie Reynolds; people tell me I look like her daughter; my husband’s hero is Han Solo; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just released; and, Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) died this past week? #Nocoincidences. RIP Carrie Fisher. May the Force be with you.