It can honestly be said that 2016 was crap. Everyone can agree that the year of 2016 wasn’t a good year for most, and I know very few people who would disagree. 2016 is laced with uncertainty, fear, anger, loss, and grief to name some of the emotions that people felt this past year. One of the saddest moments of 2016 was the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher, or as most people in the world would know her as Princess Leia from Star Wars. Even though Carrie was only known to a few of her one starring role, she was so much more. Not only did she star in other classic movies like When Harry met Sally and Drop Dead Fred, she was also a brilliant writer. Unfortunately, I did not discover her writing talent till recently but I admit that she blew me away. I picked up a copy of The Princess Diarist before passing, but I felt the weight of her words as I read it afterward.
The Princess Diarist is the retelling of Carrie’s time filming Star Wars. From her landing the role, to struggling with the infamous bun hair style, and conversations about not wearing bras since there wasn’t underwear in space, Carrie doesn’t leave any stone unturned in her time becoming one the most well-known princesses of all time. Not only are her insights to the mind of her 19-year-old intriguing, and insightful but it was funny and heartbreaking. Carrie gives her readers a glimpse of the thoughts, feelings, and reflections of her 19 year old self with actual samples from her diary she wrote in while on the set. For being 19, Carrie felt deeply, and often struggled with her own demons, insecurities, and coming to terms of discovering who she was. She sheds light on issues that even girls today, young or old, have to face and battle with on a daily basis. Her memoir was unlike anything I had ever read before; it was funny, entertaining, but stretched into deep waters of self thought and reflection.
I was gutted when I found out about the passing of Carrie Fisher. As a die-hard Star Wars fan, I grew up on watching her take the lead in that role and observing what it was like for a female character to go after what she wanted. She wasn’t just a princess but she was a general, a commander-in-chief who not only fought the fight but was willing to put her life on the line for something she was passionate about. As child, I wanted to be her, I wanted to fight for something I was passionate about and be unwilling to just settle. I was always curious about the woman behind the buns, but I am sad to say that it has taken me this long to see and discover her true nature. I found that Carrie was so much more than just a princess with two cinnamon buns attached to her head, and this memoir shows that. Her feelings and her mind were unlike anything I have ever read, and her diary entries during the filming were filled with teenage angst (of course), but they showed a wisdom not found in many 19 year olds. Her writing showed a intertwining of her immaturity with her age and her maturity in her thoughts and wisdom that were constantly in battle between each other. The need to act grown up and have this image of who she was portrayed to be but struggling with feelings insecurities and self-doubt. Her writing is brilliant and reading the conflict of her past and her present come together in this memoir was unlike any book I have ever read. I took my time reading this memoir, not because she had passed away and I wanted to stay with her longer, but her writing and story telling was so fascinating that I didn’t want to rush the magic. I wanted to immerse in her mind and in her world, and discover the mind of Princess Leia. I loved reading the back story to one of my favorite movies, and viewing the princess for who she truly was, human. I am hoping to pick up more of Carrie’s work and even though we won’t be blessed with future work from her, I look forward to reading the other things she has published. Sleep well Princess, the world mourns your loss and you gave it everything you had. You are deeply missed, but thank you for being true to who you were and letting us into your world, if only through words and cinema. Still, thank you.