I am still sad about Carrie Fisher dying. I thought I would wait a few months until I felt ready to read the Princess Diarist, but it wasn’t long enough to keep me from feeling wistful while reading it.
Fisher’s newest book was inspired by her rediscovery of journals she kept while shooting the first Star Wars movie – she began to reflect on her life as it was as her acting career began, when she was about seventeen years old. She briefly discussed what it was like growing up in her famous family, her ambivalence about an acting career, and her thoughts about doing the convention circuit in current day. It is of course quite charming and clever, but most of the book focuses on her ill fated affair with a much older and married Harrison Ford, although she does not give much in the way of details. A lot of it is impressions of that time, because this all took place 40 years ago. I was amused to learn that Ford’s grumpiness does not seem to be a function of age, as it seems he was grumpy even as a much younger man.
Interestingly, I found her thoughts about her younger self resonated the most with me, despite my general obsession with all thing Star Wars. She talks about how she thought she was so fat and plain and boring, despite being the beautiful young woman we all saw on screen. That was my experience as well – I thought I was fat and plain and boring when I was 18 too, but when I occasionally see pictures of myself back then, I am always surprised at how thin and pretty I was. Fisher wanted to have an affair so she could be sophisticated and experienced, embarrassed of being who she actually was. That also rang true – I wish I could go back to teenaged me and have a heart to heart conversation about the value of innocence and taking your time. Sometimes, it seems, this hero of mine seemed exactly like me, which is what I will miss most about Carrie Fisher. She could be an inspiration, and also a mirror, helping me to better understand myself and feel like I am not so alone.
I was feeling sad, but then ran across this Tumblr post, and just laughed, because you know it is true. This story from Mark Hamill is how I am going to think of Carrie Fisher. Sly and loving and complicated and wonderful.