The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fishers autobiography about her experiences starring in the original Star Wars trilogy.
I feel like a lot of people are asking “why now?” especially with the Carrison revelation (we’ll come back to this), but I feel like, from a publicity stand point, it was probably a good time for her to write the memoir. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has been in and out of theatres and released on DVD (and other platforms) for a while now. Star Wars is right front and centre in the public eye again, so, yeah, it’s good timing. On a personal level, it might not have been the right time to share some of the stuff, for a variety of reasons (including professional ones), so I’m down with it.
Carrison happened. And people are shocked, I guess?
I always thought that shoving peoples names together when shipping them was a fairly new revelation, but maybe it has only gotten more popular. Plus, how would I really know when this became a “thing”? I wasn’t even alive in the 70’s or 80’s (and in my defence I know perfectly well that people were shipping Leia and Luke in Star Wars until people found out they were siblings). So any ways, I suppose people were shipping Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford… even though Harrison was married? And apparently this affair really happened. And judging by a few google searches, just by typing on of their names, this is a really, really big deal. To be honest, I can’t tell if the opinion is more positive or negative; it just seemed to be shock and then some… Personally, my reaction was sort of like “oh, ok, so they had a 3 month affair. And?” The part of me that loves knowing things like this (I’m only human!) is entertained by this knowledge, but I am neither like “oh it’s finally confirmed” nor “oh the horror!” probably because having the affair wasn’t as destructive as some celebrities behaivours can be. So, I’ll leave such opinions up to other people. But, hey, it happened. My thing was that this was basically the only context I have for their relationship. I was wondering what their relationship was like after this; it sounds like it was sort of present, but it wasn’t made clear if they were strictly colleagues after this or if they were/are friends, etc.
Just about what it was like “back then” and shaping her future
Carrie Fisher talked a lot about how she started Star Wars, what it was like during the initial filming and how they (primarily herself, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill) basically had no idea how much it would take off and shape their futures and how, even 40 years later, she’s still seen as Leia and that’s not something she expected at all. She seems like the kind of person who still gets overwhelmed by people (fans?) expecting things of her (which is obviously part of the job and I didn’t see her begrudging that at all) or thinking she’s Leia because of the Star Wars movies. I would’ve thought you’d get used to after a while but I can definitely really empathize with how it must be difficult at times to never really get to separate yourself from this character, especially after it’s literally been decades since. Although, it’s pretty awesome that that’s the kind of base and longevity that Star Wars has.
I could see how some people might be kind of put off by her attitude towards famous, as if she’s being ungrateful and saying “oh, it’s such a burden having to sign autographs for my fans” in a book that will probably be largely read by her fans. I am not taking it like that at all. I think that, sure, a lot of celebrities probably kind of relish that attention, but I can totally see how some celebrities might enjoy the part of acting and being a character but never truly get comfortable with the fame part of it.
In any case, I found that a lot of the memoir was rooted in the past where it was just so clear that, at first, no one was taking Star Wars super seriously at first, in terms of the fact that they had no idea the magnitude it would take on in pop culture and fandom. Let’s use Harry Potter as an example; the books were already massively popular when it was turned into a movie, so I am sure that knowing this made a huge difference, and I am sure that the next Star Wars movies had a similar (hopefully exciting) pressure / seriousness. I would’ve loved to have an additional chapter or 2 in the book to talk about what it feels like to be involved in the new trilogy, starting with The Force Awakens, and how it is different this time around.
So if you’ve read The Princess Diarist, are there any other things you thought about it that I haven’t mentioned? What was your reaction to Carrison?
If you haven’t read it yet, you should, simple as that.
Title: The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Publication: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Page count: 272 Pages
Genre: Memoir, Autobiography