Princess Leah has passed away

A special person to the Star Wars fan community has passed away.

Leah Esquanazi, better known as Princess Leah, suffered from a mitochondrial disease that caused her to have breathing difficulties and a related disorder that caused blindness. Her parents are big Star Wars fans and are very involved in fandom. When word went out that Leah was ill, the fans rallied to get funds together several times through collections and auctions so that her parents could cover their extensive time away from work and, eventually, the high costs associated with her care.

Even though she struggled with many health problems, her parents tried to give her an active life full of adventures that they chronicled on their blog and Facebook page.

Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for any planned tributes.

Visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen has passed away

Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen, whose stop-motion animation made monsters come alive in films from the 30’s through the 80’s, has passed away, his family has announced. He was 93.

Stop-motion may be cheesey to those of us who grew up in the post-Star Wars era, but Harryhausen’s work – the most famous of which is perhaps the fighting skeletons of Jason and the Argonauts – was hugely influential. (Though to this 80s’ kid, it’s his Medusa in the original Clash of the Titans who kept me up at night!)

“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much,” said George Lucas. “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars.”