The Princess Diarist

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I have always LOVED Star Wars. I remember watching it eagerly as a child...and re-watching it time after time as I got older. Then when my kids were little the prequels came out, and I eagerly watched those. I brought my son to see The Phantom Menace on opening night. Neither of us minded Jar Jar Binks. I mean, don't get me wrong...I'm not a Star Wars Freak. I don't have collectibles around the house (well, I did buy my son that Darth Vader pancake flipper once). But I have stood in below zero temperatures while intoxicated after a Christmas party to get into the new Star Wars, Episode 7 on opening night. It was a memorable moment with my children (please remember they aren't little...). Needless to say, I am also a fan of Carrie Fisher.

I have read a few of Carrie Fisher's books before, and have always enjoyed them. I think she's funny, sassy and more than a little smart assy. Yes, she's crazy...but she's the first person to tell you that. And she doesn't appear to really give a crap what anyone thinks about her. Plus she feels honest to me. I mean, you read some people's memoirs and they seem a little contrived and read false to me. But not Carrie.

This memoir is really all about her 3 month affair with Harrison Ford while filming the first Star Wars film in England. There is a little bit about her early life, and what she was doing before filming started. And there is a little bit about afterwards, and the fame and interviews that followed. But for the most part this book is all "Carrison".

I like Harrison Ford. I've always thought he was pretty good looking, and I was definitely a fan of Han Solo back in the day. But then he's always come off as pretty much playing himself in movies. The sly and suave sarcastic asshole full of one-liners. But then I am a lover of assholes really...the more sarcastic the better (which explains a lot about my taste in men).  This memoir doesn't do him any favors, and definitely didn't change my opinion of him.

Carrie Fisher was 19 years old when she started filming Star Wars. She had really only had one boyfriend beforehand, and was very inexperienced with men. She had more experience kissing gay guys she met through her mom than anything else. So when she meets Han Solo, I mean Harrison, a 30+ year old married man with two kids, she's a bit...not star struck exactly, but in awe of this quiet and cranky charismatic man. She clearly has low self-esteem, and doesn't think very highly of herself. So she's shocked when he suddenly starts kissing her in the back seat of a car...and even more shocked when it progresses to more than that.
Since I have read a few of Carrie Fisher's other books, her mental state makes sense to me. And I also know how things like this happen. She includes in the book pages from the journals she kept at the time, and those were honestly my favorite parts. The beginning of the book has a lot of odd filler, and the end has the same. But those journal pages intrigued me. There is a lot of poetry...a lot of mixed feelings of sleeping with a married man who doesn't talk to her. It definitely appears that he was there for one thing and one thing only, and her journals read like a confused young person with her head in the clouds.

I liked the book, although I think I'm giving it 3 stars. A lot of reviews complained about the first chapter filled with the events of 1976. I didn't mind that. But there was a lot of rambling filler in the pages preceding and following the journal entries. I couldn't quite understand why she included stories people tell her when asking for autographs. I think I know what she was going for...explaining how odd fame was, and shilling an autograph for cash from people who think they know you because they love the character you played decades before. But it fell short for me. The core of the story was good though. And it was a period she hadn't covered in previous memoirs. But I think it would've made a great couple chapters in a bigger book...or a news/blog/magazine article. There just wasn't enough to make the small book incredibly compelling.

But I still love Carrie Fisher. I will still read her tweets...and her books. I will watch her "comedy" specials. And I can't wait to see her on the big screen again. I cheered when I found out she was returning to the Star Wars movies!! So if you are a fan, like I am, you will probably enjoy this. But maybe check it out from the library...or listen to the audiobook, which is narrated by her and her daughter. I think listening to it with their voices would probably be incredibly enjoyable.

So, do you like Star Wars? Do you like Carrie Fisher? Did you like Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?? Let me know in the comments, or over on my Facebook page.

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