As Star Wars fans and geeks around the world process the death of Carrie Fisher, mourners have responded with a massive outpouring of grief and remembrances that has manifested in everything from calligraphy to knitting patterns to pancake art.
But fans’ most immediate response, in addition to writing and talking about our grief, seems to be drawing it — a trend that first took hold a few days before Fisher’s death, after news broke that she had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital.
In the wake of Fisher’s passing on December 27, fans began sharing gorgeous fan art online. Here’s one example, a portrait of Star Wars’ Princess Leia created by Chrissie Zullo in 2015:
This popular David Bowie/Princess Leia mashup was drawn by popular fan artist Leka in 2013, but was shared widely in the wake of Fisher’s death:
Many fan artists have celebrated Fisher’s role as a feminist icon, as seen in images like the “Rebel Rebel” entry above, Julian Callos’s 2015 punk-pop “Rebel Scum” below, and more:
The idea of Princess Leia fighting Jabba the Hutt into the future is also a common theme:
oops my hand slipped— David S Peppermints (@what_eats_owls) December 27, 2016
a whole bunch pic.twitter.com/8b3qWlBoHc
Fisher’s death also gave fans an opportunity to honor other Star Wars icons we lost in 2016, like revered comics artist Darwyn Cooke and actor Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in the film franchise.
Darwyn Cooke (1962 - 2016) draws Carrie Fisher (1956 - 2016) as Princess Leia. pic.twitter.com/ONL886turH— Keith Phipps (@kphipps3000) December 27, 2016
Today we lost a princess in a galaxy far far away Carrie Fisher was so sweet funny full of energy you will always be missed and never forgotten May the force be with you always today the Force feels dark #carriefisher #starwars #movies #scifi #princess #leia #rip #rip #sadness #trending #hurt #heartbroken #december #2016 #news #trending
While most of the fan art created in response to Fisher’s death has focused on memorializing Princess Leia (now known as General Organa, as of 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII, The Force Awakens), much of it also reunites Fisher/Leia with other late Star Wars actors and characters.
May the force be with u Carrie Fisher now you're one with the force u.u #carriefisher #princessleia #rip #starwars #fanart #starwarsfan #maytheforcebewithyou #wacom #illustrator #cartoon #illustration #ilustracion #art #tribute #carrie #chewbacca #chibi #rebels #leia #leiaorgana #neworder #rebelalliance
Above all, there is a sense that while Star Wars fans and others are expressing their collective sadness over Fisher’s death, the ability to share their grief is helping them cope at the end of a turbulent year.