A lot has happened since last Star Wars Day. I became the mother of not one, but two girls. The Star Wars franchise featured their second female protagonist in a major film. We lost our Princess Leia. I’ve experienced a deepening of my love for my children, for women everywhere, and for Star Wars too.
I know it sounds corny. I know it. But Star Wars has meant a lot to me my whole life. I’m not trying to be a hipster here, but I really did love Star Wars as a young girl, back before we had Rey and Jyn and pink Star Wars clothing. My dad took me to these movies when they were re-released in theaters in the late 90s, and never made me feel like they were a “boy” thing even though I think a lot of people treated them that way. When they were remastered and released on DVD when I was in 9th grade I spent countless nights turning them on in my basement while I studied Mrs. Rosenlof’s monster vocabulary list. I got 100% on that test, by the way.
When Carrie Fisher passed away at the end of 2016 I genuinely, actually cried. I know it is kind of dumb. But Princess Leia really was a formative character for me. She wasn’t a “nice” girl. She starts out the movie a little bit as a damsel in distress, but she’s actually not. She doesn’t get pushed around or talked over. She’s smart and brave and strong and commands respect. And I just LOVED her. And don’t freaking get me started on the sex icon metal bikini sexist argument because JUST SAVE IT. I love her in that metal bikini, too.
When she died, what really tipped me over the edge was seeing the tribute that thanked her for showing us that a girl can be a princess AND a general, because it’s something that resonated so strongly with me. Sometimes, for women, it’s and either/or. You can be a strong feminist character but you’ve gotta be hard core or unfeminine or tough or not a “family” character. You can be a princess but you’ve gotta be dainty and precious and graceful. But Leia? Leia was both. Leia was all. Leia was everything.
I wrote this phrase down, because I just couldn’t get it out of my head. As a mother of girls, it just encompassed everything I want and need my girls to know. This is my girl-motherhood philosophy in one perfect shot. You ARE a princess and a general. You’re a daughter of God, precious beyond measure, and you need to conduct yourself with poise and live up to your privilege. And you have a smart brain, a strong voice, and the ability to do whatever you choose. You are a princess and general. But maybe, yeah, let’s steer away from metal bikinis.
My good friend Rachel is in Harry Potter Book Club and made some sick Harry Potter shirts and bags for the club from her company, Lucky Duck Label. She reached out to me, just knowing I loved Star Wars and had cute little girls, and asked if she could send me some of the latest shirts they made. She did not even ask or expect a post about it but when I saw that she had chosen this, my favorite phrase and tribute, I couldn’t not share. (She also sent me a Leslie Knope tee because she knows me and is the absolute best.) I just love to promote my friends, especially when they are so incredible, so check out her shop (Main Insta and Kids Insta) for hilarious pop culture tees, onesies, bags and more.
I hope you’re celebrating today with the Star Wars movie of your choice. Except not Phantom Menace. Never Phantom Menace.