In our galaxy not so very long ago, a young girl watched a strong princess help take down an empire. That princess’ name was Leia and played by Carrie Fisher. That young girl was me. Ms. fisher is no longer with us but her poetic, witty words are forever immortalized in her newest award-winning book.
Most of you know Carrie Fisher from Star Wars and that’s what most of the Princess Diarist centers around. The book is filled with pages and stories she kept while filming A New Hope at the age of 19. Fisher writes like she talked, quips and deep thoughts with somewhat related tangents. It doesn’t read like an epic novel where things are over described. It does, however, have a decent amount of drama. What 19-year-old person do you know that doesn’t have drama, though? None. You’ll find yourself feeling like you are having a conversation with her. She makes it easy to read and it’ll make you a little sad to know you won’t be able to have these conversations with her in person. Not like most of us would get the chance but she was an important person to many fans, mental health advocates, and her family. The book is about 250 pages sprinkled with behind the scenes photographs from the movie and her life. Like most stories, it starts at the beginning. Her beginning.
Fisher was born into show business and maintained she never really wanted to be in that world. This sounds like the same story you might hear at your local accountant firm where the whole family works there even though they all swore they’d never be apart of the family business. We fall into what we’ve grown up knowing and Fisher was no exception even if she wanted to be. She describes being on set with her mother, Debbie Reynolds and how she was always awkward around her mother’s fans. She is great at foreshadowing. Carrie tells us about the first movie she was in with Warren Betty (How about those Oscars?) at the age of 15 and how abhorrent sexism was back then with her quick hit memories. She teaches the reader a bit about how she got the role of Princess Leia which feels very genuine. In fact, this whole book is genuine and I’d be a bit irritated if you thought it’d be anything as such.
Once she delves into the Star Wars filming is where we learn a lot of her insecurities. Not only from being young and not knowing much about being on set but of her affair with Harrison Ford. I admire that she waited so long to say anything out of respect for them both. She finally did tell it so that no one else could. Clever girl. Her insight and distaste for the affair I hope brings people to a conclusion that they weren’t bad people. Did they make a bad decision? Yes. It doesn’t make it right of course, but it does give you some clarity as to who they both were in different stages of their lives. You should read the book solely for her perspective and self-reflection during this time. Her thought process and poetry speak to something I’m sure we have all felt.
The book guides through little encounters of her with our favorite characters from the Galatic film. Their work schedule, the promotion circuit, and their personalities. It follows the mind of a feminist told to lose ten pounds but doesn’t. The book illustrates how she perceived mental illness and how she uses her humor to remind people it isn’t something that is taboo or wrong. Princess Diarist shows the side of an aging actor and how even the biggest of stars need to pay the bills. Fisher recalls fan encounters which I’m sure we’ve all been at some time or another and frankly, we sound a little crazy ya’ll. If you are paying close enough attention, there are lots of little lessons and contemplation mixed in every chapter.
Whether you know a lot or a little about Star Wars or Carrie Fisher but you are a fan, you need to read this book. Read it to discover a new poet. Buy it to support her estate and Gary. Share it because she was more than a girl with buns on her head. She taught a lot of us that a princess doesn’t always need to be saved and she has more to teach us with this book. If I could tell her one thing it would be, “I hate poetry, but I tolerate, maybe even like yours.”