Tag Archives: Star Wars

Carrie Fisher: Drowned In Moonlight, Strangled By Her Own Bra

28 Dec

There has been a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in grief.

I’ve spent the entire day trying to figure out what to say about Carrie Fisher’s death, and I still don’t know where or how to begin. Not since Whitney Houston has a celebrity death gutted me the way that Carrie Fisher’s has today.

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2016 has taken many celebrities from us – Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Doris Roberts, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke, Gene Wilder and, most recently, George Michael to name just a few – but losing Carrie Fisher today feels different. I feel like I’ve lost a member of my family. Of course, I am not related to Carrie Fisher, nor did I ever meet the woman, but I did grow up with her…or at least with the character who defined her career.

“Star Wars” opened almost exactly 6 months after I was born, and the characters from those movies have been a part of my consciousness for 40 years. As a kid, I had almost every Star Wars toy you could think of – ships, figurines, the Dagobah System and even Star Wars sheets on my bed. One side of the pillowcase was the Dark Side, featuring Storm Troopers and Darth Vader and the flip side of the pillowcase was the Light Side with Luke, Leia and the droids. Darth Vader so terrified me that I would make sure each night that I was sleeping on the Light Side of the pillow, confident in the fact that Luke and Leia and the Rebels had my back, so to speak.

As a kid, I didn’t know what Leia really represented in terms of the Big Picture – I just thought she was pretty and pretty awesome – but as I’ve gotten older, I appreciate her as a strong female character who is intelligent, strong and capable in addition to being gorgeous. She even saved the life of the man she loved. I didn’t realize it at the time, but through Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia and Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, I learned women can do anything – even save the galaxy. Sadly, 40 years later, we still rarely see female characters as strong and independent as Leia. I’m watching Episode IV as I type this, finding it hard to believe that one of my heroines is now gone.

Of course, Carrie Fisher was so much more than Princess Leia. She was a celebrated actress, author, sought-after script doctor, and perhaps most importantly, she put a spotlight on mental illness and addiction, giving voice and encouragement to so many who struggle from bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol addiction by bravely sharing her own struggles with incredible candor and humor. She was also a mother, and my heart goes out to her daughter, Billie, as well as her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

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But to me, she will always be the Princess with the honey bun hairdo and giant brown eyes who led a rebellion and saved a smuggler.

A bit of my childhood died today, and I am so sad.

May the Force be with you, Ms. Fisher.

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The Vinyl Menagerie

31 Jan

I know what many of you have been wondering – “If I were to get Jason a gift, what would it be?” Well, let me tell you.

I’ve never been one to have collections for the sake of collecting things. I once half-heartedly collected quarters for a while, but that’s about it. Yes, I had a huge assortment of Star Wars and He-Man toys when I was a kid, but that wasn’t really a collection per se. They were functional – I actually played with them. Thinking back on it now, I wish I hadn’t because they’d be worth a lot of money now. I had a huge collection of CDs, but again – those were functional. I listened to music all the time in school and used those CDs as much for research as I did for my own personal enjoyment. They took up a huge amount of space and were hard to move and now I have converted everything over to digital files.

Neither of my parents were collectors, so I guess it’s not really in my genes. My Mom is an amazing keeper of house – everything is spotless and in its place at all times, so “stuff” just sitting around collecting dust wasn’t something we had in our house. I do recall having a collection of Toby mugs as a kid living in England, but those have somehow been absorbed by my parents and are not longer considered mine.

As I’ve written on many occasions, I’ve recently rekindled my love of all things Disney and I’m looking quite forward to moving to San Diego sometime this year where I hope to have just a bit more space than I did back in New York. So I’ve started a collection that I’ve been adding to since Christmas.

There’s a line of Disney figures called the Funko Pop Vinyl Disney series, which are basically 4 1/4-inch tall vinyl figures of various Disney characters. It won’t be any surprise that my favorite villain, Maleficent, was the first one I bought, quickly followed by Mary Poppins. My plan was to start collecting just the figures of the characters that I liked, or maybe to do a collection of Villains and Princesses or something, but now I’m slightly obsessed with completing each of the various series. For instance, Series 1 is Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Sulley, Mike, Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Snow White, Maleficent, Tinker Bell, Cruella deVil and Stitch. I’m not sure how they picked who would be in what series – it would seem more logical to do the series by popularity of character or in chronological order of their appearances, but I guess it does make sense to spread the major characters out in order to increase sales.

From what I can tell, there are 6 series, each with 12 figures, and they’ve also introduced a Disney Pixar series with Nemo, Dory, etc. and a new Monsters University series, as well. I’m curious to know when Rapunzel, Elsa, Anna and Olaf will be released.

So far I have 6 figures – Mickey Mouse, Maleficent, Mary Poppins, Buzz Lightyear, Ariel, Tinker Bell – nowhere near completing a full series. They are available at your local Disney or Barnes & Noble stores or online at BN.com and Amazon.com…just in case you wanted to send me a little pick-me-up or needed birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

Funko's Pop Vinyl Disney Mickey Mouse figure.

Funko’s Pop Vinyl Disney Mickey Mouse figure.

Funko's Pop Vinyl Disney Mary Poppins figure.

Funko’s Pop Vinyl Disney Mary Poppins figure.

Funko's Pop Vinyl Disney Maleficent figure.

Funko’s Pop Vinyl Disney Maleficent figure.

Funko's Pop Vinyl Disney Ariel figure.

Funko’s Pop Vinyl Disney Ariel figure.