“Every night I fall asleep with you, and I wake up alone.”
Blink 182’s “A New Hope” which is also sometimes known as “The Princess Leia Song” was recorded during the winter of 1996, roughly 20 years after Star Wars A New Hope first premiered, and roughly 20 years ago this winter. It’s available on Blink-182’s “Dude Ranch” album, which was released the summer of 1997. Bassist for the band, Mark Hoppus, had a crush on her in his youth, and it was the late 1990s when a re-release was made available on videocassette. These were the days before DVDs and video streaming online. She was on his mind again as the old films were given new life thanks to George Lucas’ digital tinkering with them at the time. In that, Hoppus and I share one thing in common. I can’t play bass, but I also had a crush on Carrie Fisher from the late 70s through the 80s and well into the 90s.
Heck. I still do. Who wouldn’t?
Carrie Fisher has, of course, done a lot of stuff aside from Star Wars. She’s written and published books, made many appearances on TV and film, supported many charities including those involving Alzheimer’s research, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and finding homes for rescued pets. She was also a well known “script doctor” in Hollywood for decades, in that she would rewrite film scripts, sometimes without getting formal public credit. Just a paycheck. Chances are there’s a film you love that she had a hand in. However, she will be remembered for wearing her hair into earmuffs, or dressed in that outlandish metal bikini. Something she did for a lark overshadowed the rest of her life. Her books indicate she found that both a blessing and a curse.
There are many of us, forty-somethings today, who were born into a time when it was suggested to us that dreaming about events a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away was a good idea. Carrie Fisher was a fixture in our imaginations. Not the real Carrie Fisher, but some melodramatic invention in each of our minds that happened to look like her. Perhaps some of these puberty stricken souls imagined Princess Leia as a force ghost sitting at the foot of their bed at night, politely conversing with them about how complicated things are on the edges of reality “from a certain point of view.” Fully clothed of course. Perhaps other people’s imaginations were less artsy fartsy, and not at all intended for family viewing.
There is a long list of sex symbols available over at Wikipedia, and Carrie Fisher is there among them along with Raquel Welch, Josephine Baker, and Grace Kelly. For better or for worse, Carrie Fisher’s image in the minds of millions of young men (and presumably some young women too) helped usher us through the perils of puberty and into adulthood. She was on our walls alongside Farrah Fawcett Majors, Bo Derek, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Grace Jones. However.. well actually, what’s the opposite of however? These other ladies share this quality too. Fisher was also a brilliant mind.
And she had a sardonic rapier wit. Carrie Fisher was the whole package, and with that sense of humor, I like to imagine she had a secret fondness for this song by Blink 182. Whether she ever admitted to having heard it, I don’t personally know. Perhaps some secrets should die with her. I bet she never imagined that before she died, Carrie Fisher would find herself one of Disney’s Princesses. It is a curious reward for the life she lived, but she seemed to relish the absurd as much as I do, so hopefully she got a chuckle or two out of that. Thank you for the laughter and the tears, Ms. Fisher. And for the… well… thanks for everything. We will miss you. We will never forget you. May you rest in beautiful noise.
Punch Belushi in the arm for me when you see him.