there are a lot of these floating around now and i don't know which is the original

mordsek  asked:

Hi, just swinging by to see how you were doing! Also, wondering if you still have the comic strip advertising commissions (it's more for reference rather than actually commissioning you, sorry!) floating around somewhere? It was a while back and I was thinking of passing it along to a friend for study.

Hey!! I’m doing much better than a few weeks ago, feeling great and dandy, thank you for asking!

I KNOW THE COMIC STRIP THAT YOU ARE REFERRING TO AND it’s probably floating around on other people’s blogs, but I deleted it off of mine because I am no longer taking commissions. But since I had an interesting experience with regards to that specific post and commission period, I’m gonna repost the four pages here and leave some commentary about it.

I’m also going to go ahead and answer this ask, too, since it’s in the same vein:

Hey there Anon, I usually charged $35 for sketchpage commissions! I fluctuated the amount that I charged for them between $35-$55, and $35 seemed to be where the amount of interest peaked, though that is very much underselling. If I open up commissions again in the future, I will definitely charge much more, since they take a lot of time and involve a lot of drawing. As for the second question, see below for advice and tips/observations I’ve discovered while doing commissions monthly to make rent for the last year and a half, haha!



This particular commission advertisement absolutely exploded, which was completely unexpected to me, and exciting! I guess since people don’t usually present commission prices in this sort of pseudo-narrative style, it was eye-catching.


I didn’t get any business!! This post originally broke at least 1k notes if I remember correctly (it was last year, and my memory is not the greatest), but I managed to attract less business inquiries than I did on my usual, straight-forward commission pages! Which was a huge bummer!! The problem with this advertisement is that it read more as a narrative to be consumed than as a serious call to action, which is interesting, but, again, a bummer.

Most of the reblogs and sharing that happened with this commission advertisement ended up consisting of tags and commentary saying “oh this is sweet” “wow this is really clever” “I’m going to do something like this for my next commission sheet” “I can’t commission this person but this is too cool not to reblog” etc. etc. etc. etc. I mean, I thought it was a cool idea, and I guess it was from how well it gained traction, but it was probably one of the singularly most frustrating experiences of my freelance life, haha!

So my advice would be: don’t make your commissions posts like this if you want to get serious business inquiries. Make your prices and examples as quick to digest as possible. The more simple the page, the more people will jump at it.

I’ve ALSO found that if you’re going to do commissions, you should limit the type of work you’re willing to do and limit the options that commissioners have to consider. That sounds a little backwards when you consider what the average commission post you see looks like, but hear me out on this one.

If someone sees a commission sheet with strong, solid examples of a single type of commission like fullbody sketches, that’s an easy decision to make. Base price of $30 for a fullbody colored sketch? I can afford that! I’ll message them right now!

But if you have separate prices listed out for Headshots, Bustshots, Waistshots, Fullbody shots, and then on TOP of those types you have listed different art styles such as Sketch, Ink, Flats, Full Shading, and Full Illustrations, that’s a LOT of information to process and a LOT of decisions to make on the part of casual browsers. I have found in my own personal experience AS a buyer that I’m less likely to jump on commissioning someone if they have a billion options listed. If I see a post that’s like “hey I’m doing sketches that look like [example] hit me up if you want one they’re $20″ I’ll be a lot more likely to seriously consider it.

So, take for example the above four page commission advertisement comic I did. I offered way too many options, and presented them in a hard-to-digest format. For viewers, it wasn’t clear whether I was making a joke about starving artists, or if I was seriously looking to do work for people.

After that particular commission period, I changed my advertisements to look like this:

Straightforward and to the point. I realized that I really enjoyed doing sketchpage commissions because they let me be flexible with how I drew the character, and they were also my most popular commission option. So I changed my business to ONLY offering sketchpage commissions, so it would be easier for me to keep track of what everyone was getting, and easy for potential clients to know what they were going to get if they commissioned me.

And it worked! I consistently got between 20-30 commissions every single month, and it’s why I was able to survive that first year of living on my own out in the big adult world.

Phew, okay, my fingers are tired, I think that’s all the information I have to share on the subject??! Hopefully that’s helpful for someone out there. Sorry it was so long.

thevalkyriewarrior  asked:

Ok I just want to say thank you for running this lovely blog!! I was wondering I've seen a few little stories floating around here and I had this idea with Sidon and a S/o with long hair and he is just kinda fascinated by it since Zora don't have hair. Like what if learned how to do braids? I just thought it would be super cute. Thank you for all this, have a great day!

(Agreed!~ Sidon being a cute doofus is what I live for~ Sidon is what I live for!~ Enjoy!~)

Long Haired S/o:

Warnings: Fluff, excessive usage of the word hair, braids (my old enemy)

  • Hair Is Fascinating

- It goes without saying that Zoras do not have hair so the fact that you do and that it is quite a lot of it makes Sidon especially fascinated and curious because he can now get an up close look at it

- You can almost always find him nearby when your brushing and taking care of your flowing locks he admires and also finds it rather amusing how much work you put into keeping your hair so soft and shiny  

- Sidon loves when he wakes up and sees your hair all tussled and disheveled from rolling around in your sleep, it’s a cute sight seeing all the strands sticking up in strange ways

- But then it is even more magical when you disappear into the bathroom for a while or sit down at the vanity and manage to tame all of it with experienced ease

- How can one person manage such a large amount of hair? It is bewildering to him

- That’s why Sidon likes to watch you brush it because he wants to learn the whole process of tending to every single strand so carefully hoping that maybe he could learn to help you

- When you first hand the brush over to him he is confused and turns to you perplexed but then you go sit down in front of the vanity waving him over and he eagerly rushes over to you

- Sidon was giddy with excitement when he ran the brush slowly through your long hair even more fascinated by how smooth it feels and the way it falls gently from his hands back to its original position

- He’d quickly pick up the habit of playing with your hair while you sit in his lap, just carefully running his fingers through it which you have no problem with because it feels nice and helps you relax

- One time you fell asleep in his lap while he was messing with your hair and he decided to style your hair in a ponytail that sprouted up from the top of your head

- Sidon couldn’t stop laughing when you woke up and scolded him (though you were laughing too)

  • Tries To Get Creative

- When he learns that you want to try some new styles, Sidon is immediately interested in trying to help you get a little creative with your hair 

- Going out to nearby towns and visiting the stores and salons in order to find ideas as well as purchase pretty bands, pins, and other small accessories to add some color to your hair

- He tends to go a little overboard with how much he buys because he knows all of it would look good on you and he can’t decide which ones he likes e so he just ends up buying a bunch of them

- While out in the towns he would look at other Hylians and how they style their hair taking note of the different curls or braids that they add to give it a special flair

- It inspires him to suggest that you should try braiding your hair and he also volunteers to do it for you so you do not have to strain your arms to reach around

- And of course you can’t say no because he pulls those awfully good puppy-dog eyes out and you’re rendered helpless (not that you mind, you think it’s sweet that he’s so eager to help)

- However when you two actually do sit down to let Sidon try his hand at braiding you quickly realize that he is atrocious at braiding

- The Hylian children Sidon had watched braid each other’s hair made it look so easy but now he knew that it took great skill, skill that he did not quite have

- Your hair is rendered a complete and utter disaster as if every strand was sucked up into a tornado that twisted, pulled, and curled everything and then spat all of it back out with some sparkling hair clips tossed into the mix

- It takes you the rest of the day to undo the mess and the entire time Sidon is sulking and apologizing and he does his best to help in cleaning his mess though he isn’t allowed to touch your hair for that day and a little while after that (you’re not mad, just stressed)

  • Riju and Zelda To The Rescue

- Even though his initial attempt was such a disaster the Zora is undeterred in his mission to help you make your hair look even nicer but there is no way he can just go back and try again

- He needs someone to teach him

- Sidon almost immediately thinks of Princess Zelda and Riju because he feels most comfortable with them and they both have long hair styled in very unique ways, especially Riju, so surely they would be able to give him some pointers

- Next time that their is a Champions meeting, he asks them for help though he knows it is a little improper to ask the chief of a powerful village of well-trained female fighters and the princess of Hyrule for advice on braiding and styling hair (hair that he doesn’t have)

- The two are a little taken aback by the sudden request but when they learn the reason as to why Sidon wants to learn they find it so sweet that they gladly accept

- All three plan meeting at Zelda’s palace when all of their schedules are clear so that Riju and Zelda may give the Zora tips and pointers while offering their own hair for Sidon to practice on (like teenage girls at a slumber party)

- The first trials go just slightly better than the first and the two women have to deal with some sore heads and teaching at a very slow pace so that Sidon can gradually pick up the process until he doesn’t need them coach him through it

- You, on the other hand, start getting worried by Sidon’s frequent visits to the palace especially because whenever you ask the Zora what he is doing all that he tells you is that it’s just political matters

- Sidon doesn’t like lying to you and he knows that you’re worried but he also knows that once he finally does master the techniques he’ll be able to make it up to you

  • Surprise (Get Creative Pt. 2)

- It is only after about two weeks of Sidon’s “training,” he finally manages to do Zelda’s braids without any mistakes that he feels that he is comfortable enough with his new skills that he can finally go back to you

- The two women would present him with a small jewelry box custom-made by order of Princess Zelda with the Zora symbol engraved in the top

- The box would contain special accessories from Riju’s personal collection back in Gerudo village so that Sidon could put them to good use on you

- Golden hair jewelry encrusted with different cuts of sapphire, ruby, and emerald to give it that extra glimmer. Simple gold bands or ones bedazzled with jewels, headdresses with small chains or jewels hanging from them, etc

- “They’re a bit too big for me but I’m sure they’ll love them much more than I do.”

- The Zora would be so appreciative that he’d completely forget about all formalities and would scoop both of the girls into his arms to hug them and express his gratitude

- Then he’d rush back to the Zora Kingdom, leaving the two a bit shaken but just as happy, to give the jewelry box to you and while you are still awe and shock by such fancy jewelry he’d ask if you’d do the honor of giving him one more shot

- You sit down without hesitation and are just as surprised as the Zora gives you a waterfall braid adorning it with a golden flower clip courtesy of Riju

- As he is doing this he comes clean about what he has actually been doing on his visits and how he had been aiming to surprise you (you are thoroughly surprised and impressed)

- It’s safe to say that was not the last time you let him do your hair and you love those relaxing moments where you get to sit in the Zora’s lap and just let him try out new braids on you

- Be careful falling sleep on him now, he will give you dozens of small braids that stick out of your head in odd directions

anonymous asked:

Hi, if you don't mind could you explain what that means because I'm lost, also what trend where you talking about here: "me, being kicked out of school for plagiarism: um you’re not entitled to my emotional labor? find the sources yourself"

um, you’re not entitled to my emotional labour.

No, I’m joking, of course I will explain.

This is a joke about an exchange you might see rattling around tumblr, usually in regards to social justice topics. Someone will ask for an explanation of or clarification on a topic, or advice on how to handle something and they’ll just be told to “educate themselves”, and sometimes told directly that asking is demanding emotional labour of minorities.

(in case you’ve not run across the term, emotional labour originated in describing the extra emotional theatre service workers are expected to perform for customers, but nowdays gets used more broadly to demands for emotional support and processing and free domestic and similar labour which is disproportionately demanded of women and other minorities).

So the joke is about the differing epistemological standards between Tumblr, where that’s appropriate and academia, where you’d actually be punished because you are, quite legitimately, expected to back up your statements.

And the reason that I reblogged it specifically in the meanest way possible is that I do not like the concept of “just educate yourself”. I really, really do not.

This is an idea that comes from a lot of good places, which is what I’m going to start with. But it also gets used in a lot of ways I find at best deeply suspect and at worst fairly toxic, which is why I was reblogging the joke in my nastiest voice.

1. I do think that if you’re going to ask someone for advice directly the polite thing to do is to exhaust your own resources first. The idea that Dr. Google should be your first stop is a good one and I don’t want to bash on it.

2. A lot of this arises from people who get deluged with questions, often invasive, and often repeatedly exerting the right to take a break. AND THAT’S DEFINITELY AWESOME. No one should be compelled to do activism. When someone says “hey can you answer my question” unless you’re actually being paid to educate them, “no” is definitely an excellent and reasonable answer. And if someone tells you their not doing the question answering thing, the only polite option is to gracefully go ask someone else.

3. Some people get tremendously picky about how other people offer them free time and effort and the call to educate yourself comes, in part from people who’ve been offered summaries and curated reading lists and demanded, instead, private lessons. Which is just bloody rude.

BUT, even though “go away and educate yourself” is a totally reasonable idea in many circumstances, as I’ve listed, there are some really icky ways I see some of this getting used.

1. I find the idea that dropping an ask in someone’s open ask box is a “demand” very suspect. Its certainly a request, but there’s no force associated with it. If I’d decided not to answer this, for instance, I could simply delete it. If I kept getting too many asks I could even close my ask box, or turn off anon. You can’t compel me to answer your ask. You can’t punish me for not doing it. (I am perfectly happy to answer this, fyi). Now, the nature of Tumblr means that searching is very hard and its easy to end up deluged with the same basic question over and over. I’m not an education blog, I get few asks and I’ve still been asked what image captions are for 5-6 times. So I get that it can be very frustrating… but its still not a demand.

2. It often seems to carry the idea that finding information is a lot easier than it actually is. Really basic information can be readily googled. But there’s huge amounts of ideas I’ve encountered during fandom conversations, or just floating through tumblr threads, or on ask blogs that I have LITERALLY been unable to find via google, even after a good few hours looking, and that’s for information that I already know. I don’t think this is malicious a lot of the time. When you’re an expert its very easy to loose track of what is and isn’t easy to find for a non-expert. But its still pretty brutal to exhaust your google-skills, go ask something and be told in so many words to “just google it stupid”.

These two aren’t so bad, they’re mostly just a case of conflicting experiences and that happens. But.

3. Even though “go do it yourself” is a great thing to say if you’re looking to avoid activism (and I’ll reiterate I think that’s everyone’s right and you should never feel bad for saying ‘no I’m done/not doing this’ about activism, God knows I do it enough) I see it being used as activism instead. And it gives me a case of the nopes. Because the person who does the educating sets the curriculum. And when you say “go educate yourself” you’re rolling the dice on if the person who does educate them is on your side or not. Especially because it is virtually impossible to fact-check something you’re unfamiliar with. There’s also often a HUGE effort imbalance. Like, sure, it takes me some effort to dig up my “here’s why image captions are a thing” post. And it took me a bit of effort to write it in the first place, but It would probably take the asker a lot longer to google it all up. And that’s a pretty simple topic. I’ve asked activist friends for reading lists before and realistically getting 20-30min help from them has saved me probably 2-3 hours. And the information quality is better on top of that.

4. While this doesn’t happen a huge amount, I see this sometimes attached to very complex issues, or or topics where opinions are very diverse and then it, quite frankly, creeps me out a bit. Because when I see “just educate yourself omg” attached to a post with a strong opinion element, even though it might not be intentional, I cannot help but perceive an undercurrent of “if you were truly educated you’d agree with me” and “how dare you ask for sources, don’t question me, just shut up and do as I say”… and those… those are not good dynamics.

The Broken Saga

Author note: Like legions of other fans, I’m grieving the death of Carrie Fisher. My heart breaks for her daughter Billie and her and brother Todd, and I recognize that the silencing of Fisher’s unique voice is more important than the loss of the character she played. 

This essay was difficult to write. Parts of it are a grief-filled rant. Parts of it explore my own thoughts about how the new saga can be concluded in a way which fulfills the storytellers’ intent while acknowledging the reality of Fisher’s death, and honoring the legacy she created in the iconic character of General Leia Organa.

Parts of this essay are angry. Because make no mistake, I’m angry.

The intentional and unintentional breaking of the saga

Return of the Jedi ended on a high note; Vader redeemed, the Empire defeated, the bright promise of the future in Luke’s Jedi and Leia and Han’s love for each other.  In The Force Awakens, the creators chose to break the saga to provide the central conflict of the new trilogy. Lucasfilm and the Story Group took a risk in destroying all the ‘happily ever afters’ of the original trilogy when they began the new stories, and now, in a way they surely never intended, Carrie Fisher’s death has broken the saga in a manner that is irretrievable.

The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets recently published news that Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow (director of Episode IX), will be meeting this week (early January, 2017) with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to discuss the way forward for the story in the wake of Fisher’s death on December 27. In the coming year and beyond, they will work to create a way to bring the new trilogy to the “deeply and profoundly satisfying” conclusion that Trevorrow promised us back in January of 2016, but Fisher’s death has, in many ways, forstalled this possibility. No matter what the creators choose to do, the new trilogy is now, at its core, a tragedy. Despite the fact that principal photography for VIII was concluded in mid-2016,– the pall of Fisher’s passing will shadow it too and may well affect the story Rian Johnson will give us at the end of this year.

“insiders say Leia was to have been a bigger part of Episode IX than VIII.”

- The Hollywood Reporter, January 5, 2017

It will never be alright again

Star Wars has always been a story about hope. Many of us see the new saga as an unwinding, or reversal of the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker. In this light, the opening words of the new saga, spoken by Lor San Tekka:

“This will begin to make things right,”

are resonant far beyond an implied jibe at George Lucas’ flawed prequels. Star Wars has always dealt in archetypes. In essays I wrote about the story during 2016*, I explored a number of different themes I see underpinning the new saga. From my first viewing of The Force Awakens, I believed that the large arc of the new trilogy will be one of homecoming, return, and redemption. As a fan who has spent the past year immersed in the world of the new saga, analyzing the plot, characters, and overarching themes of the new trilogy, reports that Fisher was anticipated to have a large role in Episode IX came as no surprise. All of central themes of the new saga can be gathered under the framework of one of the most ancient archetypal stories of all; The Prodigal Son.

Carrie Fisher’s death has rendered this tale difficult, if not impossible, to tell while remaining true to the characters created in both the original and sequel trilogies.  

Of course Fisher was anticipated to have a large role in the final installment of the tale; what is the return of the prodigal son but a process of coming to terms with the people and relationships one has left behind? The prodigal seeks forgiveness. The prodigal comes home. TFA killed Ben Solo’s father in the universe of the Galaxy Far Far Away. Tragically, Fisher’s death means that General Organa will also be gone before the story ends. From a symbolic standpoint, there is now no “home” to which a repentant prodigal might return.

Unless it was filmed for VIII (and from a narrative standpoint, I have no expectation that it would have been), here are some of the things which will never happen in the galaxy far, far away:

Ben Organa Solo will never see the living face of his mother again.

They will never speak to each other.

Ben will never be able to ask his mother for forgiveness. Nor will she be able to ask for his.

Leia will never see her son in the light again. Never see him whole. Never see him happy. She’ll never dance at a wedding, never hold a Skywalker grandchild.

Lucasfilm and the story group, Pablo Hidalgo, JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, Kathleen Kennedy - all of them: they destroyed the happy ending of the Original Trilogy, and have left us with this. I weep. I am filled with rage. They have a lot to answer for. Of course no one imagined it would turn out this way, but the storytellers have broken Star Wars in a way that strikes close to its heart, and on some level, no matter what they do, they cannot fix it.

For those of us who have loved the character of Leia our entire lives, this is almost unbearably sad. The storytellers set this particular tale in motion; they took what proved to be an ugly, risky gamble in choosing to tell this particular tale. They have broken the saga, and no matter how they choose to end it, even if they do it well; with sensitivity and courage, they have doomed the new trilogy to some level of tragedy.

Because the terrible reality is that the only honorable, logical, narratively appropriate way to deal with Carrie Fisher’s real death is that in the story, General Leia Organa must also die. This adds a bizarre, free-floating grief to the reality of Fisher’s passing. The destruction of the story – it is another kind of death. For those of us who knew Fisher only through her work as an artist, it is a loss that is bitter, bitter to bear.

“…she burns very bright, and has such a great, generous energy…for that suddenly to not be on set…to have her character; not just her character in the movie, but her character, missing from that very small unit, is a tragedy.”

Adam Driver, speaking of Carrie Fisher, January 6, 2017, with Stephen Colbert

How does the story go now?

At recent conversation around our dinner table, our family talked about how we imagined the storytellers completing the trilogy without Carrie. Most of the ways in which movie makers have dealt with this kind of loss in the past felt deeply inappropriate. It’s possible that our responses are still being strongly shaped by grief – as I write this, we’re only a couple of weeks removed from Fisher’s death in December. Still, I suspect that the views of our average family, consisting of both casual and hard-core fans is pretty representative. Here’s how people felt:

No re-casting.

The Star Wars saga films should not be treated like yet another superhero retread. Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa cannot be recast to be played by another person. She’s not Batman or Spiderman, a costume to be filled by whatever flavor-of-the-month up and comer is presently in vogue.

No CG.

This is a more difficult question, and a reality it is probably impossible to avoid. With the example of the re-animation of Grand Moff Tarkin (and god, the young Leia cameo) fresh before us in Rogue One, bringing a person back to life onscreen is obviously a newly-emerging reality. Rogue One showed us exactly what that technology can presently achieve, and it is both woefully inadequate to carry the weight of a significant role like Fisher’s, and ethically questionable. Fisher herself was famously outspoken about her unhappiness at being objectified as a fictional character, and railed against the overexposure and exploitation she felt surrounding some aspects of her fame as Princess Leia.  She also understood how important the character was to many people:

“Movies were meant to stay on the screen, flat and large and colorful, gathering you up in their sweep of story, carrying you rollicking along to the end, then releasing you back into your unchanged life. But this movie misbehaved. It leaked out of the theater, poured off the screen, affected a lot of people so deeply that they required endless talismans and artifacts to stay connected to it.

Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist, page 194

In The Princess Diarist, Fisher describes making peace with the fact that Leia is her, and she is Leia. This passage hints at how she might have felt about the possibility of being turned into a computer-generated entity:

“It turns out she matters to me. Leia. I’ve spent the lion’s share of my life…being as much myself as Princess Leia. Answering questions about her, defending her…wondering who I’d be without her, finding out how proud I am of her, making sure I’m careful to not do anything that might reflect badly on her or that she might disapprove of, feeling honored to be her representative here on earth, her caretaker…[it] made me angry and resent it when other people would try to put words in her mouth without consulting me!“

Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist, page 244

Unless Rian Johnson had the foresight to capture footage of Carrie Fisher which could be used for Episode IX, the reality is that some degree of CG work involving Leia is likely to be part of the final installment of the trilogy. As fans, I think we actually have a role to play here by letting Lucasfilm know now, and emphatically, that the fanbase does not want to see Carrie’s Leia turned into a Tarkin-style zombie, that any CG work be kept to an absolute minimum, and that it be avoided altogether if the story can be told without it.

And can it? Could IX reach some form of acceptable ending (if not the “deeply and profoundly satisfying” conclusion described by Trevorrow) even with Carrie and Leia gone?

Yes, but.  

As I said earlier in this essay, Carrie Fisher’s death renders the new trilogy tragic in ways that were probably not anticipated, and now cannot be avoided. Even so, it is possible to wrest some form of peace and balance from this story at its end. Despite my angry grief with the story group and everyone involved in bringing us to this painful place in the story, I have some trust that the storytellers have the skill to do it right.

The reality is that the most straightforward way to deal with Carrie Fisher’s real death is that General Leia Organa will die in the story, and that this death will take place off-screen. To me, this feels like the most honorable and honest way to let the truth of Fisher’s passing become part of the Star Wars universe without resorting to awkward and potentially offensive use of CG or re-casting to complete the saga. But oh, just thinking about it hurts. A lot. Many of us who have spent a lot of time grieving in recent days will grieve deeply again. So be it.

As Carrie noted, Star Wars is a story that misbehaves; it won’t stay on the screen. Our understanding of the characters is unbreakably linked to the people who created them and to our own experiences. 

When news of Fisher’s heart attack first broke, I had the absurd thought that it was time for Ben Organa Solo to stop his descent into darkness and get himself home; his mother needed him. I can readily imagine a version of the saga in which Leia’s death is the impetus that turns Ben back to the light. I can just as easily envision a version of the tale in which his mother’s death is the blow which finally extinguishes the light in him, but I don’t believe that darker path is likely for the filmmakers to take. The redemption of Ben Solo was the most likely endgame of the new saga before Fisher’s death; now I posit that it is the ONLY acceptable way in which the new trilogy can end.

Is there a way to tell the story without CG or re-casting which permits some final reconciliation between mother and son?

Yes, but.

Star Wars is a universe in which the dead sometimes appear to the living in the form of ghosts, and it is possible to envision a version of the story in which Leia appears as a Force ghost. In fact, I would almost guarantee that episode IX will make use of this trope to give both the other characters in the story and the audience some form of closure. It’s a gift of fiction that we are generally deprived of in real life. We’ll have to trust the storytellers to handle this with sensitivity and skill.  

Star Wars is a universe in which people tend not to send letters, but rather use holos to communicate with each other, so some form of CG might be used to permit Leia to send some form of final message to her son. In Rogue One, this storytelling technique was used when Galen Erso gave his message to Bodhi Rook to carry to Saw Gererra. Galen did not know if his message would reach either Saw or his daughter Jyn; but it did indeed serve as his last message of love and reconciliation to his daughter. In a similar vein, a message from Bail Organa to Leia featured prominently in Claudia Gray’s novel, Bloodline

Leia, a wartime general, might well have had a “farewell” letter of some kind in keeping for Ben, in the way soldiers who know they might never see their families again have done for centuries.

Actually, we don’t have to invent a message written by the General Organa we met in The Force Awakens, because we know that in Bloodline, Leia composed a letter to Ben at the time their relationship to Darth Vader was revealed. The story so far has not revealed whether this message ever reached its intended recipient. It’s possible that Leia’s message to her son, written long before the events in TFA, might finally reach his hands in Episode IX. 

Bloodline didn’t tell us what was in that message, but we can easily guess: Leia told her son she loved him. She apologized for not telling him the truth of his family history. She asked for his forgiveness. She told him she believed in the light in him.

She told him she loved him.

In one of my essays written in 2016, I speculated that the “mystery box” Rey opened in the basement of Maz Kanata’s castle, in which she discovered the Skywalker lightsaber, was the same box in which Bail Organa’s message was found in Bloodline; a keepsake box from the lost world of Alderaan that belonged to Leia as a young girl.

If my speculation is correct, the box and its contents may have a meaningful role to play in episode IX. As far as we know, the box was left behind after the battle on Takodana, but there’s no reason to assume it was not recovered by Maz and returned to Leia. If it was Leia’s keepsake box from her childhood on Alderaan, it becomes a powerful talisman which the storytellers could use to connect Ben to his mother after her death. In TFA, we catch a very brief glimpse of the objects which were in the box with the lightsaber. I don’t know what the storytellers will do with this detail, but I hope very much that the box did belong to Leia, that its contents were her own childhood treasures, and that the box eventually finds it way into the hands of her son. Maybe Luke will give it to him. Maybe Rey will.

A box of keepsakes and a final message would be a heartrending end to a story which should, by rights, have concluded with Leia dancing at a wedding and living a peaceful life, surrounded by grandchildren, but sometimes even fairy tales don’t go that way. Like life.

With much love to our fandom and our storytellers.

The Force is with you, Carrie Fisher. You are one with the Force.

* I’ll edit this and add some links to my old metas soon. XOXO