Review: The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist
Written by Carrie Fisher
Published by Blue Rider Press on October 18, 2016
257 pages


 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.

First of all, I am a huge Carrie Fisher fan. She was incredibly witty and self-deprecating. She really never took herself seriously. When she passed away, I was really affected. In my mind she wasn’t just Princess Leia. She was a writer and a satirist who had incredible talent. After her passing, I quickly decided to read her latest memoir about her time filming Star Wars. I had such a high hopes for this book. I wanted to get some insight into Star Wars and her relationship with the other actors of the film. All I learned about from The Princess Diarist was her affair with Harrison Ford and her opinion of lap dances. Needless to say I was disappointed. However, there were several portions of the book that I really enjoyed.

I did not like all of the business with Harrison Ford. I wouldn’t have minded one chapter on him; but having the majority of the book all about the affair was a little much. Yes, I get it he was a massive jerk. I wished she just stopped there and move to other aspects of filming. I felt all she did was harp on Harrison Ford and how and communicate. It was a non-affair which was hard for her to understand. I will say she was only 19 years old and having an affair with a 32 year old married man would be difficult to handle. I just wished she had more discussion about Mark Hamill or any of the other actors.

My favorite part of the book was her portrayal of her hair. Princess Leia’s hair is almost its own character. She described the whole fair process in such a hilarious way. She had to go through so many hair styles. She said they had find one style that didn’t extenuate her “chubby” face. So that was the reason for the buns…her “chubby” face. This part, also, focused on all the crap she had to endure because she was the only girl on the set. She had to endure the constant pressure to lose weight (which never ended). I believe she was a lot stronger than she thought she was for putting up with all the harassment.

Lastly, Carrie Fisher’s discussion of the lap dance experience made me a little uncomfortable. I have never been to a convention but I would love to go to one. However, her negativity towards them and her comparison to autograph signings to lap dances makes me think twice. I felt she really resented the fact that she had to do them at all. It was really depressing.

Overall, The Princess Diarist is a fun and quick read. It does have its ups and downs; but, some of the stories are really funny and insightful. I just wish she was still with us.


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