Carrie Fisher Memorial Tribute

Leia Jedi Knight

art by Terese Nielsen for Star Wars Miniatures, Jedi Academy

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia has inspired my imagination. It set fire to possibilities both on the movie screen and in games, books and comics. It was her acting and likeness that set fire to our hearts to imagine all the possibilities.

When I first ‘met’ the character of Leia, she wasn’t my favorite. She was always so angry and I was too young to really get WHY. But by Return of the Jedi I began to appreciate her. Now she was Luke’s sister, the Princess who could take time out from the big picture (the Rebellion) and rescue Han, admit she had feelings for him. She could be chained and turn her imprisonment on her captor and stop him from hurting anyone else ever again. She had Force potential the same as her brother. Suddenly Leia was awesome! And now I can see that the world needed Leia. She was a rare kind of hero for her time, something now everyone is pushing saying they need. I don’t quite get why, not that I don’t see why we need cool female heroes. What I don’t get is why they act like we didn’t have any. We had Leia. We also had Uhura and Wonder Woman but Leia was the one I knew best. We needed more Leia merchandise perhaps: the male characters always seemed to get the best stuff. But female heroes? I had Leia. Then she was joined by daughter Jaina and finally her movie mother Padme. And I could always see the connections.

With the prequels she developed a new kind of resonance. Now I see Leia and I see the parts of her that came from Padme, and the parts that came from Anakin. The same determination that drove her Mother, the anger (not unjustified) that she got from her father. And in the Expanded Universe Jaina inherited her Force sensitivity, courage and sheer determination.

In the Expanded Universe stories I watched her struggle with the identity of her biological father. Mother of three, President of the New Republic, and finally, Jedi knight. And always it was Carrie Fisher’s face I saw as this Leia, just as with the movie Leia. It was her acting that gave my vivid imagination the framework to work with to see her as the Chief of State, the warrior and the Jedi Knight. A real do it all female hero, who struggled with family vs career in a very real way. After all, when if you don’t save the galaxy where will your family live? And she was doing this female hero thing when it wasn’t yet popular or cool. She was the damsel who may be distressed but wasn’t going to take it without a fight.

She’ll always be Jedi Leia in my mind. And now she is one with the Force in this world. As Cliegg said of Shmi Skywalker (Leia’s grandmother) in Attack of the Clones:

“I know wherever you are, it’s become a better place.”

I hope so. Because I think this world is poorer without her.

But then you get that final blow: her mother Debbie Reynolds dying within days. I feel so much for their family.

When pondering this sadness, the most common thing I hear is, Debby Reynolds died of a broken heart. I can’t help note a certain … well, resonance. In the movies Carrie Fisher’s Leia’s ‘fictional’ mom Padme did too. One reason I get so upset over people dismissing Padme as a strong female is that they give call her weak for having ‘died of a broken heart’. In real life, people do, in fact, die of broken hearts. Even healthy people, though frail ones obviously have it worse. To downplay this is a terrible thing. Whether the fictional Padme died ‘merely’ of a broken heart or some evil plot of Palpatine’s, downplaying that trauma can destroy people is much easier for people who have not lived through one, and it does not only claim the weak, the old, or the infirm.

Here is scientific evidence: http://www.sciencealert.com/can-you-really-die-from-a-broken-heart

Another thing I’ve heard, albeit rarely, is that Carrie Fisher didn’t exactly live the life of a saint. I thought this rather sad thing to say. After all, the fact that she survived challenges, overcame them and advocated for things she believed made her a brave person in real life. Saint? Who is? She is a real life example of an imperfect person doing her best to hang on in this crazy world.

I can’t help but note too that she is an example of something we are losing: the ability to argue like civilized beings and still call the people we argue with ‘friends’. Imagine that. You can argue without unfriending! That appears to be a in danger of becoming a lost art!

Here’s an example:
“He asked me to do an episode and that was really, really annoying, but it was very, very funny. Screaming at each other. Arguing big time about love scenes. We couldn’t disagree more, in any world, about love scenes. I mean hours of it, hours of ‘Why wouldn’t you say that? I talk like that.’, he said to me. I don’t believe it! And if he does [talk like that], they let him get away with it because he’s Lucas.” … “He won. He let me win in the draft, then he went off and shot it and he changed it. I went crazy! I didn’t want the shimmering arm, hair in the moonlight stuff. ‘You look so lovely. You are the magical rose of my…’ It’s in!” ~ 1994 Star Wars Insider interview regarding writing an episode of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

Yet clearly, she still thought of him as a friend with her good natured joking about the merchandising of her likeness. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2016/12/28/watch-carrie-fisher-roast-george-lucas-2005-award-ceremony/

I’ve seen terrible and wonderful things come of her death. The wonderful was the tribute paid by so many on the Old Republic: impromptu, unexpected. More or less polite, with even the Imperials coming in to the Organa Castle on Alderaan, albeit thousands of years before Leia’s time. So many people, on so many servers, so many ‘instances’ so they didn’t pile on top of each other (what’s the occupancy limit on the hall of Organa Castle anyway?!) starting early the day she died, to the massive packed memorial service and today people still filtering into the hall just to be there. It struck me that many were saying in the memorial (in the chat) that we wouldn’t be playing this game without Carrie Fisher. I’m not sure how many realize how true this is, not only for her screen acting but because her Jedi Training in the comics led to her discovering the holocron, which led to opening the entire era of Tales of the Jedi upon which Star Wars The Old Republic was founded rests upon.

It was written up in many articles like this one on PC Gamer. The guild I am part of was at the Ebon Hawk event. This playlist shows just a few of the many already posted on Youtube.

Star Wars Galaxies fans also had a memorial tribute, even though the ‘official’ game servers are offline. Fans have set up their own servers to keep the game alive. See their tribute pictures on their Facebook page.

Terrible is those who take advantage: copyright hounds who issue take down notices of the memorial videos! How low is that? Why do these apparently heartless creatures get to stay among us when our heroes are gone? Probably they are ‘bots’ set to automatically detect and challenge stuff that have no clue its in game. But then, that system has already been hit with lawsuits and they lost so you’d think they’d fix it. And then there are the scalpers suddenly buying up all things Leia and demanding ridiculous prices of grieving fans, as I found out when I went back looking to buy the Leia 6″ figure I was had been waiting on Christmas money to get.

As usual with tragedy, terrible and wonderful mix. But its just so much, so horrible much for the fans and if its like that for us, how much worse for those who knew and loved her personally? My heart goes out to them, and so do my prayers. One thing is for sure, for all the difference is in the Star Wars community between who prefers which storyline, it was wonderful to see everyone, EU and Disney canon, Sith and Jedi come together to grieve her death and celebrate her life.

The Truce at Bakura, Aftermath of Endor, Influence

Truce at Bakura, in the Aftermath of EndorThe Truce at Bakura is the literal aftermath of the Battle of Endor and deals with the emotional and very real strategic fall outs of it. As such, its a great place to dive into the Expanded Universe.

The Truce at Bakura starts immediately after Return of the Jedi. It is literally the day after the Death Star’s destruction and our heroes are still nursing wounds. Luke is feeling the effects of the Emperor’s Force Lightning and the pain at losing his Father. Leia still has an arm injury as well as the new realization that Darth Vader was her biological father.

The Imperial’s Primary Fleet is shattered, with the best of the ships and crews (since Vader only took the best.) The Emperor and Darth Vader being dead, leaves the Empire leaderless, but not yet surrendered. In the aftermath of a hard won victory, even though word is getting out about the battle, many worlds are still under Imperial control.

When the world of Bakura sends a message for help to the now scattered Imperial fleet, the message is intercepted and self destruct averted by Wedge Antillies.  Aliens are invading and the Imperial held world is desperate. So desperate that offering them aid might just win them over to the Alliance..

The Aftermath of Endor for the Heroes

Luke Skywalker

In the aftermath of  Emperor’s Force lightning, Luke is still in the medical ward for treatement.  Then Obi-Wan’s spirit appears, warning him of terrible danger if he does not go to Bakura and deal with matters there personally. This is one of very few appearances of the Force Spirit’s in the books.

Luke is given command of a battlegroup and once more is left unable to fly with Rogue Squadron. This is a step toward passing command to Wedge in the comic immediately following: Rogue Leader. His next step up will be to General in Shadows of Mindor.

His first after the movie era female attraction is here, Gaeriel Captison. She will not be the last, but their friendship will eventually come into play in the Corellian trilogy. His questions about his family are still troubling him here.

He meets his first potential apprentice: a boy enslaved by the alien Ssi’ruuk.

Leia Organa

Leia is still nursing a blaster wound to the arm, much more, she is nursing the shock of finding out Darth Vader is her biological father. He visits her as a Force spirit to apologize. Her confusion and deep seated anger at him is an issue she will have to confront many times in various other books. It will also make her hesitant to have a child.

Leia has reason to distrust Imperial governor’s but she finds herself making the first ever official truce between the Empire and Alliance.

Han Solo

Han has only just gotten to enjoy the fact that he is in love with Leia in she in love with him. Luke is no longer a threatening suitor, but he still finds himself jealous and out of step. When Luke is out of touch, Han will once again end up as leader.

R2 D2 and C3PO

Find themselves called upon to translate the Ssi Ruuk speech. While they don’t know the language, Artoo can emulate do to the whistling, tweeting sound it mimics. They also do their best to cure the Bakuran anti droid sentiment, left over from a Droid Rebellion and the Clone Wars conflict.

Chewbacca

Faces a world largely unaccustomed to non humans. But he doesn’t let it bother him in the slightest, even when it means dealing with Imperials (without bashing heads.)

New Characters, Creatures and Technology Introduced

 Gaeriel Captison (Imperial Bakuran Politician)

Governor Nereus (Imperial Govenor)

Pter Thanas (Imperial Officer)

Senator Orn Beldan (Rebel sympathizer Bakuran)

Ssi Ruuk (invading alien lizards)

Xwee (invading alien lizards, slave race)

Dev Sibwarra – (Force sensitive, human slave to Ssi Ruuk)

Entechment – Devices that steal a person’s Force life energy to power war machines. This is the first mention in novels of a device combining the Force with Technology.

 

Connections in the Books

The Clone Wars: Wild Space: mentions Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battling Grievous here.

The Tie Fighter captured at Bakura will be used by Tycho Celchu on a recon mission to Coruscant. (X-Wing, Wedge’s Gamble)

Bakura is mentioned in Shadows of Mindor as well as several of the X-Wing series novels, and Jedi Academy trilogy.

The Corellian Trilogy sees the World of Bakura and Gaerial Captison return to the stories, an important player with their special ships that can break through gravity wells that otherwise prevent hyperspace travel.

Bakura is mentioned as temporarily being a member of the New Republic in Black Fleet Crisis.

The New Jedi Order sees Bakura come under the influence of the Peace Brigade, collaborators with the Yuuzhan Vong.

Luke Skywalker’s white shipboard outfit matches that shown in the Classic Marvel Comic book series.

Han’s black uniform with silver trim matches the one he used to infiltrate Star’s End, in Han Solo at Star’s End by Brian Daley.

The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook :

specifically calls the Alliance at this stage, before an official New Republic is formed,  the Alliance of Free Planets, just as the Classic Marvel Comic Books and Dark Force Comics Vandelhelm Mission.

It also lists the Doctor serving under Govenor Nereus as being the same woman who served under Captain-Supervisor Grammel during Luke and Leia’s escape from him on Mimban. (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye)

It also reveals discussions that the Alliance should classify the Bakuran incident, for fear Imperials who discovered more about it would try and attack the ssiruuk and steal the entechment weapons technology. This gives an early explanation why the incident itself is rarely mentioned in other stories.

Luke’s feeling of Pter Thanas future is revealed to be from a vision in the sourcebook. This vision (and the future) is confirmed in the Corellian Trilogy.

Effects on other Media

Dark Horse’s Clone Wars era comics reveal that Dooku had a base on Bakura, where he was encountered by Jedi Sora Bulq and Tholme.

The Clone Wars video game has the Force Harvester used here.

Bakura is used in the Empire at War , Rogue Squadron III and Rebellion video games.

Bakura in Jedi Academy

Bakura in Jedi Academy

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy video game, the player as Jaden Korr has to prevent the Imperials from blowing up a power station on Bakura.

 

 

 

Movie Character – Leia Organa – Expanded

Leia Organa Solo in Swarm Wars

Leia Organa Solo in Swarm Wars, as a Jedi Knight

Princess Leia Organa faces many trials not only during her time with the Rebellion, but also afterward. The first personal challenge is dealing with her discovery that Luke Skywalker is her brother and Darth Vader AKA Anakin Skywalker is her biological Father.

Adopted and raised by Bail Organa of Alderaan, her skills led to her being both a leader of the Rebel Alliance and a chief architect of the New Republic.  This led to unusual challenges, such as suitors wanting to marry her for political alliance, rather than love. Due to her duties to the Alliance, she seriously considered this but ultimately marries Han Solo.

Given the discovery of who her Father is, Leia is reluctant (if not outright afraid) to use her birthright of Force sensitivity and Jedi potential. She’s also afraid to have children.

This fear she eventually overcomes, and she has three, Jacen and Jaina (twins) and young Anakin, who she named, in part, to redeem her Father’s name and remind herself that great evil can be redeemed for good.

Leia Organa and her Career:

High points of Leia’s career include her becoming Chief of State of the New Republic for several decades, until right before a peace treaty is reached with the Empire. She also went on to become a full Jedi Knight.

The vast majority of stories after Return of the Jedi feature Leia, but here are some highlights:

Dealing with her relationship with Vader / Anakin as her biological father:

Truce at Bakura,
Tatooine Ghost
Planet of Twilight.

Birth of her children and it’s consequences:

Thrawn trilogy
Dark Empire
Jedi Academy trilogy

Her past as a Princess of Alderaan:

Children of the Jedi
Razor’s Edge (rebellion era)
Star Wars Rebel Girl

DH Empire 5 and 6 – Princess, Warrior
DH Empire 20 and 21 – A Little Piece of Home