Carrie Fisher packed a lot of life in her 60 years on this planet. She was a princess who became a general, a murderous ex hellbent on getting revenge on her blues brother, and a single woman in New York dating a married man. She was a mental health advocate, and a script doctor who punched up movies like Sister Act, Hook, and even Star Wars: Episode One (but I won’t hold that against her).
But especially in her later life, Carrie Fisher was a writer. In the wake of Fisher’s sudden death, her last memoir “The Princess Diarist” is a unexpectedly emotional read.
While her other memoir “Wishful Drinking” focused on her struggles with mental health, “The Princess Diarist” is about Fisher’s complicated relationship with fame. Being the famous progeny of two famous parents, Fisher thought she could handle fame. But as a star in her own right, she struggled.
It was a total coincidence, but I read this book the day Carrie Fisher died (I’m very very behind on reviews. In my defense, I didn’t feel like writing them). While grief and nostalgia where prevalent emotions, I spent a lot of the book pissed on her behalf. Even if you didn’t read the book, you know the salacious reveal: she and Harrison Ford had an on-set affair.
Before I knew any of the details, I was excited on her behalf. Banging one of the hottest man on earth in his ab.so.lute. prime?? Tell me everything! What that dick do, tho?
But the truth was a lot less fun. Carrie was a painfully naive and insecure 19-year-old. At George Lucas’s birthday party, the crew guys tease-flirted with her (“There’s our little princess without her buns!”) and got her drunk. After a couple of drinks, some of the guys surround her and try to hustle her out of the party. And then, like the swaggering hero I dreamed he’d be, Harrison Ford saved her. “Excuse me, gentleman,” he drawled, “but the lady doesn’t seem aware of what she wants.”
But not so fast. Ford hustles Carrie into his car and starts making out with her. He’s 14 years older than her, married with kids. He JUST said that she was too trashed to make decisions. They go home together. And that’s how their affair starts. How romantic.
More than a third of the book is about their affair. He’s withholding, intimidating and monosyllabic. He barely talks to her on set or in bed. But she’s head over heels. That’s not hindsight, that’s in her diaries, published in the back half of the book. Her entries and poems aren’t about the set or other actors-they’re basically all about her Han Solo and how he wouldn’t love her back.
It seems unfair this book is Fisher’s last official word. She clearly grew up and stopped being the lovelorn teenager (and not to be petty, but her writing improved over the years. Those poems were rough). She stopped being a princess and became a general. I wish this wasn’t her final book, but I’m grateful she gave us one last gift.
In “Wishful Drinking” she talks about the first time she wore that iconic white dress:
George comes up to me the first day of filming and he takes one look at the dress and says, “You can’t wear a bra under that dress.”
So, I say, “Okay, I’ll bite. Why?”
And he says, “Because. . . there’s no underwear in space.”
What happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right? But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn’t—so you get strangled by your own bra.
She goes on to say:
Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.
As you wish, Princess.