An astronaut's touching tribute to Carrie Fisher shows why she inspired so many.

Fisher inspired a generation of girls and women to push the limits and explore the unknown.

On Dec. 28, 2016, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet tweeted a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher.

The message, coming just a day after Fisher's death, was simple: "Princesses shouldn't be passive, girls have character & ability to lead. The world needs them to fulfill their potential — thanks, Carrie Fisher."

When "Star Wars: A New Hope" was released in 1977, NASA had already landed men on the moon, but a woman had yet to travel to outer space.

Sally Ride wouldn't make history as the first woman in space until June 1983 (coincidentally, one month after the release of the final installment in the "Star Wars" original trilogy). Princess Leia, while fictional, gave girls everywhere something to aspire to and helped fill the void left behind when "Star Trek" and Nichelle Nichols' iconic portrayal of Lt. Uhura had gone off the air almost a decade earlier.

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Heroes

Actress, jokester, and animal-loving icon Carrie Fisher died on Dec. 27, 2016. As evidenced by the response that followed, her impact dismantling stigma surrounding mental illness will live on for generations to come.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

The "Star Wars" legend, who died at age 60 less than one week after suffering a heart attack, was more than an actor. She fought for animal welfare. She railed against sexism, body-shaming, and ageism in Hollywood. And she often spoke candidly about living with addiction and bipolar disorder.

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Family

This viral post perfectly captures why Carrie Fisher will be missed so dearly.

Far more than just a princess, Carrie Fisher was an icon.

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, Carrie Fisher died at age 60.

Her death comes four days after she suffered a heart attack. Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars film franchise, it's hard to overstate just how inadequate that basic description of her is. In addition to being an actor, Fisher was also a best-selling author and a mental health advocate. To her fans, she was even more than that: an idol, an inspiration, and even a lifesaver.

Fisher attends a screening of "The Empire Strikes Back"  in 1980. AP Photo/Dave Caulkin.

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