This past week the world lost two icons who helped define the latter part of the 1900’s in more ways than just through their artistic expressions on stage or film.
When my parents divorced, there were a few years where my mother and I lived in the Atlanta area during the late 1970’s. I was young. So was my mother. We had lawn furniture in our apartment. Ironically as I type this post, I am three miles from that old apartment complex.
Since we weren’t swimming in money, we rarely went out to eat or go see a movie, but we did see Star Wars when it came out. In fact, it was the only movie we ever saw twice in the theater. In 1977, that was the most futuristic, most visually stunning movie ever to grace most people’s eyes.
The effects. The Jungian archetypes. The good vs. evil. Wookies, jawas, and droids. The Force.
And a strong young lady with guts and a refusal to give up.
With buns for hair.
And don’t think that there weren’t a few teenage boys who found her as Jabba the Hut’s personal trophy a tad bit racy. But that royal upbringing mixed with Jedi heritage splashed with some rebellious kick-ass attitude with a dash of one-liners, Leia was that one smart lady who intimidated lots of men because she was strong, spoke her mind, and knew who she was.
Princess Leia became the warrior- princess of my generation. And with Carrie Fisher’s death, I am beginning to see some of the very people who helped define my world begin to leave the physical world and pass into another.
To say there is a disturbance in the Force would be an understatement.
Carrie Fisher did have other roles in other films, but she will also be remembered as an incredible activist for both mental health and addiction, both of which she battled throughout her life in rather a public arena that she was born into as the daughter of famous people.
Last weekend, I saw Rogue One and was a tad bit saddened to see Fisher’s role as a young Leia CGI’d into the movie as a segue to the 1977 episode that introduced us to the fierce Leia character. No computer could have done her justice. Only one person could play that role.
Godspeed to Alderon.
And earlier this week, the world lost George Michael, who possessed one of the purest voices of my lifetime, even if it did sing songs that I probably would not ever put on my iPod. But there are many that I would put on my iPod, and I have.
If you have never seen the movie Deadpool, then do it, but only if you are ready to hear some of the most beautifully written vulgarity to ever grace your ears. If I could put together that kind of script, I would be writing full-time under a pen name and be rich.
In the movie, Wade Wilson, the guy who becomes Deadpool has this fascination with the song “Careless Whisper” from the Make It Big album by Wham! And he emphasizes the exclamation point.
At the end of the movie when he saves the girl he even plays “Careless Whisper” on his iPhone.
I wonder if George Michael ever saw that tribute.
George Michael might be more well-known to some for his run-ins with the law for use of drugs and one instance of what some may call lewd behavior. But, he is regarded as one of the leading voices for the rights for the LGBT community in the world, especially at a time when society was coming to grips with AIDS and equal rights depending on sexual orientation.
And when he went on to a solo career, he and Andrew Ridgeley had an amicable breakup. Wham! Was no longer, but they remained best friends. No one does that any more. Wow!
Furthermore, George is one of the few people to play most all of the instruments on his songs that were recorded for solo albums and provided a lot of his own background vocals. Many singers now do not even play instruments and have their voices processed so much.
Just mentioning the name George Michael and I immediately think of the 1980’s. And I had some damn fine hair back then.
Carrie Fisher was 60 years old. As Leia, she fought for freedom for the rebellion against the Dark Side.
George Michael was 53 years old. He sang “Freedom.”
Both too young.