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Carrie Fisher's death has inspired a wave of heartwarming Princess Leia fan art

M.J. Hiblen/Facebook
Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

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:

Chrissie Zullo / deviantART

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:

Rebel Rebel

Posted by The Art of Leka on Saturday, September 14, 2013

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:

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.

RIP. Carrie Fisher & Kenny Baker part of my childhood has left us

Posted by The illustrations of M.J.Hiblen on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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.

#maytheforcebewithyou #carriefisher #starwars #princessleia #leia #jedi

A photo posted by Eduardo Sanabria/ EDO (@edoilustrado) on

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.

May the force be with you #starwars #traditionalart #Nanking #princessleia #carriefisher #rip #maytheforcebewithyou #fanart

A photo posted by Vanitas(bunnie) (@vanitashucci) on

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