The time has come to review the last novel written by the late, great Carrie Fisher. After discovering how much I liked her writing with Wishful Drinking I thought I could just jump into Fisher’s memoirs of her experience with the first Star Wars film (now confusingly known as episode Four A New Hope). And It was still fairly funny, granted this time there was the main reason why fans wanted to buy the book (this reason taking up two thirds of the book), her affair with Harrison Ford.
No You can’t spoil real life, but I will talk about The Last Jedi a bit here with some minor spoilers, I promise this will be the last time I talk about Star Wars until the end of Star Wars Rebels.
This novel is more or less Carrie talking about her life behind the scenes of what was going on when filming the first Star Wars movie, her life prior to the movie, life as an actress during that time, her hesitation at going into showbiz, her experience with Harrison Ford (gosh he was/is hot. Remember when you didn’t need amazing muscles to be hot?), her life in the world of comicon, and a depressing realization I had that resulted in me taking a few months (and some audiobook sessions) to finish this novel.
The Princess Diarist is a pretty damn good book, Carrie Fisher had chosen to write it solely because one day she was cleaning house and found her old diaries from when she was filming Star Wars, which is pretty cool that she kept and found them and that the ink managed to last for so many years.
As mentioned above the main focus of the book (and one of the reasons why so many people were interested in the book in the first place prior to December 27th 2016) was the revelation that Carrie FIsher had an affair with Harrison Ford. Carrie FIsher didn’t go into too much detail about what went on in the bedroom (with the exception of maybe one detailed poem) as she felt that sex is a private matter.
She talks about the secret she and Harrison Ford shared and how she did have feelings for Harrison Ford that she didn’t want to have because she saw that her father ran off with Elizabeth Taylor and didn’t want to become ‘a homewrecker’ by having an affair with Harrison Ford. The poems she wrote can sometimes be particularly dark to the point that I resorted to listening to the audiobook (which somehow got Carrie FIsher nominated for a Grammy), to highschool crush and feelings, to being in love with someone and knowing that you yourself can be more interesting and better than what you see yourself as and wondering how that person views you. Despite how dark the diary entries go, I feel that people can relate to them even if the situation is just so unrealistic.
I will admit I did get annoyed how the book focused so much on this affair; I understand it’s a secret that Carrie Fisher almost took with her to the grave, but I was hoping for other stories and adventures she had on set of Star Wars. But then again the diary entries that were created partially because of the affair so I understand why so much of the book was devoted to it.
It was fun seeing how Carrie Fisher talked about her life after the original Star Wars trilogy, going through life living in Princess Leia’s shadow, hating princess Leia, liking Princess Leia, understanding that she is only famous because of Princess Leia, hating Star Wars for a little bit, then just growing to accept all of it.
She does also talk a bit about her life in conventions giving small parodies/generalizations of the fans she meets while at conventions. She mentions that despite meeting some fans multiple times, she didn’t remember them, but was polite about that situation, and situations where children thought that Princess Leia was a beautiful young woman still (don’t do drugs kids). Most of all she did like the Star Wars fan base and enjoyed joking around with her fans and just grew to enjoy everything. She accepted what life had given her and was happy to live it.
And now for the depressing realization of this novel and The Last Jedi. Throughout most of the book Carrie FIsher mentioned the topic of death a lot. Most people would say “she was old, of course she’s going to talk and joke around about death,” which is fair enough, I joke about dying a lot too. But then I saw The Last Jedi last week and noticed something about Carrie’s performance and began to tie something with what she had written in the book. Carrie knew she didn’t have much time left on this earth.
Granted she was having a blast on The Ellen Degeneres show a little over a week before she passed away, but who wouldn’t have a blast on Ellen? Even the kids from Thirteen Reasons Why had a blast on her show!
I could be wrong, I really hope I’m wrong about this observations I had while reading this book and seeing her act one last time, but this is a feeling I have, nothing more and nothing less. It was great seeing the crazy lady and her internal thoughts one last time, it’s making me consider going to go see The Last Jedi again on the 27th dressed as a giant prozzak pill.
I give The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher five out of five strange Slave Leia autographs.