The Princess Diarist
The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.
When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.
With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.
This is not a story about the making of Star Wars, not really. While Carrie does of course speak at length on the effect of the series on her life and the immediate aftermath of the popularity of the first movie, there’s no behind the scenes content. Except when it comes to her relationship with Harrison Ford, playfully referred to as Carrison.
There’s a lot of that.
But hearing the story, I can’t really blame her for her focus. The impetus for this book was apparently the rediscovery of several journals that Fisher had kept through the making of the first Star Wars movie. And, being nineteen and having an affair with Harrison Ford of all people, her writings naturally revolve around their relationship, as well as her own insecurities and a few telling touches with her disease. This is a memoir of Carrison, without any scandalous, sexy bits involved. That, and a reflection on the meaning of Leia in Carrie’s life.
I have never read any other of Fisher’s writings, so I can’t compare what’s written here with what’s written there. I can say that from what was read of her journals directly (by her daughter Billie Lourd) that even without an editor she makes an excellent writer and clever poet. I can also say that, as I listened to the audiobook, hearing it all spoken in Fisher’s voice makes all the difference. Her inflections are perfect and hammer home how ridiculous she now takes her younger self, as we all view our younger selves.