Why Can’t I Be Princess Leia?
It’s not a stupid question.
I spent much of my upbringing being foiled by Princess Leia. While all my friends were going to see Star Wars, I could not. Someone might see all eight years of me in line at the movies and think I was going to see Desires Within Young Girls, and because of what other people might think, I could not see banal movies like Star Wars.
Still, I craved the John Williams soundtrack with the black-and-white cover. I convinced my mother, aka Santa Claus, to give me the Princess Leia Barbie doll for Christmas. Not because I knew anything about the movie, mind you.
I said it might be fun to undo her star puffs and fix them back. It might teach me dexterity. Or how to do my own hair. Or something.
Coiffure being a huge part of Southern Female Development.
I got my Princess Leia.
I never saw Star Wars until I was grown.
I did not get it.
But I lusted after Han Solo.
Which is probably why I was not allowed to see the movie when I was eight.
My brother had a visceral reaction to Star Wars.
Yes, I have a brother.
He identified with Luke and Leia, Darth and Yoda in a mystical, cosmic way I will never understand. The Force was with him.
And the action figures. And the Darth Vader action figure case. And the tie fighter models. And the R2-D2 model with a billion tiny choking-hazard pieces. Oh, and the glue I sniffed while I tried to rip said tiny parts from the delicate skin of my hands.
When I ventured into my brother’s room and had to part the Red Sea of Star Wars Crap to navigate, I never understood how smart he was. When he giggled with glee over acquiring the original Chewbacca doll for a decent price, I cackled at his abject insanity. The day he called my mother to announce the sex of his male child by breathing into the phone and saying, “Luke. I am your father,” I knew I was the superior sibling.
I had won.
Because I was too cheap to buy him anything that Christmas, I gave him my Princess Leia Barbie doll. From 1977. With everything but the box. And, I LAUGHED AT HIM. How pathetic was it for a grown man to slobber all over a stupid old doll???
If I ever have a hope of matching my brother’s earnings on his Star Wars Collection, I must BE Princess Leia in Episode VII. I MUST. Otherwise, I might just mimic Carrie Fisher and engage in Wishful Drinking for the rest of my life.