Monthly Archives: December 2016

Remembering Carrie Fisher

Contributor: Rick McGimpsey


Having just learned of Carrie Fisher’s passing a few minutes ago I am still trying to gather my thoughts from the shock and find something appropriate to say. The loss of Kenny Baker earlier this year and the death of Carrie are both hard pills to swallow. I grew up with Star Wars and every character from the films were like old friends to me that I would revisit from time to time.
Having been born in the early 90’s I never got to see the Original Trilogy when it first came out, but Star Wars was in my consciousness from the very beginning. I do not remember the day when I was first introduced to the Saga because for me it was always there. Star Wars was something that seemed to have always existed for me growing up and so naturally the characters felt equally omnipresent.
To my mind Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher form The Big Three; an iconic triad who represent the series. This morning we lost one of them and the world will not be the same.

Princess Leia was arguably my first crush on a fictional character as a young boy and she was probably the first fictional princess I ever saw on film. I am quite certain Star Wars was already firmly in my consciousness before I was introduced to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the other Disney princesses who have been sadly marketed to death lately.
Star Wars represented a lot of “firsts” for me and Carrie Fisher played her role in more than a few of them. As I said she was the first princess I saw on film. And she was my first crush. I was very young and I doubt I fully comprehended the feelings she evoked in my prepubescent mind when I first saw her in that slave outfit, but probably the less I speak of the indelible impact that left on me the better. But there were other firsts she represented too. And not just for me, but for others.
Hollywood was already well on its way toward being open to representing women as more independent than just winnable “dames” and quasi-romantic objects to be rescued and/or tamed; but Star Wars really thrust a strong female character into the mainstream spotlight for the first time for a lot of younger audiences. Star Wars was aimed at children as well as adults and this means that impressionable young minds were being exposed to progressive concepts that would shape them into better people as adults. Now young girls didn’t just have pathetic role models like Snow White and Fay Wray whose only skills were screaming in a nightgown or fancy dress for the big strong male protagonist to come rescue them. They now had Princess Leia, an idealistic hero who is just as skilled with a blaster as she is with her words and resolve. She isn’t needy, but her emotions are appropriately balanced so that she is still capable of love and warmth and charm. She could be comforted and comforting, but she could not be used and abused.
And it is not just young girls who can learn from Leia either. I firmly believe that a young man or boy who is exposed to stronger women in his youth is much less likely to grow up into an abusive, misogynistic neanderthal than the boys who have only seen weak, obedient, submissive “females” all his life. The young man who has a crush on Princess Leia is seeing a woman who is capable of free choice and surviving on her own.
When Luke Skywalker came to “rescue” Princess Leia one of the first things she does is snag his blaster from him, take out several Stormtroopers, and calmly find an escape route that Luke and Han were too distracted to find themselves. In essence she isn’t a big baby like Snow White screaming at trees or an airhead like Cinderella singing “So This is Love” at a man she just met and whose name she doesn’t even know.
And for many children Princess Leia was the one who first showed this more progressive side to femininity. And Carrie Fisher performed the role well.

After Star Wars Carrie’s roles tended to be a bit more obscure and I have to confess that I have seen very few of them. I am acquainted with her voice work on animated shows like Family Guy, but Star Wars is truly where I know her. She was my first Princess and my first crush. And as years went by as I kept watching Star Wars the depth of her character and every other character in Star Wars became clearer and garnered new insight. A true testament to how much Star Wars is as much for children as adults is how we find new things in its characters and story as we get older. Leia impresses me more and more as a grown man than as a boy and I hope my own daughter is similarly impressed by her growing up. I would rather see my little girl grow up to be like Princess Leia than a mewling damsel in distress.

I probably won’t see Carrie Fisher again until Episode VIII which will be nearly a full year since her passing. It will be a bittersweet moment for all of us.
Today we lost a talented, intelligent, funny (just watch her interviews), and beautiful individual who lives on in memory. All those wonderful people who have become one with the Force in recent years like Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker, Drewe Henley, Richard LaParmentier, and Michael Leader should not be taken as a sore reminder of the mortality of life, but rather bittersweet and peaceful passings that prove that memory is a stronger giver of life than the temporal health of the body. None of these people are truly going anywhere. Memory and joy in that memory immortalises us all. May the Force be with them. Always.

R.I.P. Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)


I Just Wanna Say Thank You

 Thank you card

Not sure how many of you who are still here, or are able to even actually see this. Writing, as well as the compacted audience I have aquired from it. Has granted me the opportunity to not only express myself in new ways, but also given me the confidence to put multiple books in the coming years. I tend to not focus on the past too much, but the ability to craft words in such a way. Has made me realize just how blessed I am to be able to do this, and present maybe just a glimmer of hope for anyone who reads my stuff. If you have supported me, or anything else on this blog. I just want to thank you for that, it truly means more to me than anything in this world. Come 2017 you will see more from me at the very least, that’s something you can count on. And hopefully we can keep this little train a chugging into the future. =)

Contributor And Founder- Chris Ballenger

Crisp Glass Shards

I knock, but it’s all hollow. Why would I enter, but there’s a fire from the cold. I can hear it crack, yet it’s insincere and synthetic. I could touch it, but I avoid it because it feels unnatural. I sit on the steps of leisure, waiting for whomever to pass by without any sort of measuring stick to guide my pathway. Are the walls motionless, do they make me swim from my current destination. Those traditions are lifeless, they blend in a crowd of filthy borrowers.  The imagined you would take a fall, you figure ments blended ever so slightly with them inside. They gasped for air, it smelled like fresh paint on a phobia. Those large sentient planets, they floated like bulbs that lit up your world.

Contributor- Chris Ballenger

The True Forms Of Youth

The winding road, immeasurable as it mines your eerie tone. Chopping away at the peering golden dawn, these majestros make a creeping pursuit of that totem. Those tree’s have no identity, you could name them all but it is useless. They decay sought after in a field cut off from the world that knew them best. They were fascinated once, finding joy in even times of great horrors. The superimposed  frameworks, these were the exquisite components needed to finish the job. That lightning from the sky, it struck down the anti furious from its throw in a grand display of their true nature.  They’d never be cast out again, for it was in that day that solice would hundreds of times over.

Contributor- Chris Ballenger


It Grips Like A Stone

I lay at my side, shivering from fear of the unconsciousness. Still very lucid, fully comparable and frigid from the chill I feel.  My side presses against the weight of the steel, it melds and moves in the airy bend. I make my eyes towards the wall, its as if its a gaping hole that I could reach out into but do not. Feeling that hand at my back, it pressing onto my skin as moments seem like hours. It whispered to me, a threatening tone of which I never imagined could be reality. I am among the stars, but struggle in search of the true potential within my vast soul. I haven’t seen anything like this, I haven’t experienced this much freedom. I don’t know where to place my hands, I think its ok to fall now. But one wonders, will I ever take the leap.

Contributor- Chris Ballenger