I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t see Star Wars until The Force Awakens came out last year. I’d seen parts of The Empire Strikes Back when my brother watched it when we were children, and I knew who Anakin Skywalker was, but I was more interested in lining up my soft toys, playing with my dolls house and writing stories non stop. Then last year I wanted to be in on the hype with the new film, so I binged watched all previous 6 films, starting with A New Hope and ending with Revenge of the Sith. I immediately fell in love with them. It was an entire endless world that had been created – the only other time I had see that was with Harry Potter.
I searched up the main cast on Twitter and found Carrie Fisher’s account active. Princess Leia was my favourite character purely because she was the only woman (a strong, smart, funny and powerful one at that), and I resonate towards female characters. If you’ve seen Carrie Fisher’s Twitter, you’re probably as baffled as I was the first time I came across it last December. And if you haven’t come across it, she tweets in emojis. Just go and see for yourself. It took some figuring out but I quickly learnt how to decode her emoji language when it seemed that almost nobody else could. I thought about creating an account to translate her tweets into normal written English, because honestly, it bugged me seeing so many people replying to Carrie saying they couldn’t understand her. I left it a couple of months, but then in March I finally created one. I translated a few of her tweets and wrote my own tweet saying that if anyone couldn’t understand her tweets then I was there to translate them and help people understand. I went to sleep for the night and that was that. Until I woke up.
The first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone and social medias to see what’s happening in the world that day. But waking up on that day was different. There was a seemingly endless scroll of notifications on my lock screen. It turned out that about half an hour after I went to sleep, Carrie Fisher had retweeted me and I gained 1000 followers literally overnight. And so from then on, I set up tweet notifications for her account so that I’d know when she tweeted in “Carriemoji” as I dubbed it with a friend, and could translate ASAP. I began to get incredibly kind messages from random people appreciating me, or just finding the whole thing funny, which made me feel really good, especially if I was feeling crappy that day. It was the best feeling to have a purpose and be recognised and appreciated for it, even it was just “translating” weird little tweets by someone that famous. What I’m trying to say is that Carrie Fisher and her emoji tweets really made an impact on my life and I don’t really know how to explain how grateful I am for that.
I got Carrie’s latest autobiography The Princess Diarist as a Christmas present and I’m already half way through. It’s captivating to be let into her world as she was filming the first Star Wars. One of the things that stood out to me from the book is how she talks about how she was told to lose weight for the role of Princess Leia, but she never did. To me, Carrie Fisher was someone who defied social norms and said fuck you to people who didn’t like it. That’s someone I want to become.
I’m trying not to be sad about her death, but thankful for her existence.