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"[...] I'm no liar. I need you to trust that or stop reading."
The first time I ever read one of Carrie Fisher's memoirs, I described it as "going to a bar and doing shots with her, then asking her to tell stories." That holds true for this book, as well.
Miss Fisher writes in a unique way, that makes me feel like we're old friends, catching up after time apart. There's an ease to her style that is reminiscent of conversation, but it's still insightful.
This book offers an inside look in at her time on the Star Wars sets in a time where Hollywood was like a boy's club. That's one of the common themes spread out through the book; the 70's and women. I think the most interesting part was to read and realise that not much has changed.
Women were, and still are, expected to look a certain way, while commonly being made the love interest of men that are 10+ years their senior. But most of them aren't having affairs with the costar in question.
"Carrison" is something Miss Fisher dedicates a large portion of the book to, and it offers up a side of Harrison Ford that people rarely get to see. As someone who sees him as an incredible actor, but doesn't know much beyond that, I've always thought of him as a grumpy, intimidating person. When she dives into how their affair begins, it changed my perspective. She casts him in an honest way, without making him look like an awful person, and I think he'll thank her for that.
The book ends with a look at actual entries from diaries she kept while filming. She's nothing but open and honest, as she had said closer to the beginning of the section. She puts herself in a vulnerable position in showing these entries to the world, and it's something I admire. In a world where women are seen as "too emotional" she lays it all on the line to prove that even Princess Leia, a heroine in a metal bikini, has a heart and feelings. That she's not an object of fantasy, that she's a real human.
A human who feels hurt and confusion at the hands of others, and survives to tell the tale, rather than succumbing to it.
The only thing that disappointed me about the book was that going into it I thought that the diaries were going to be more about her time actually shootingStar Wars than her feelings about her affair with Harrison Ford. I was ready for tales from set, anecdotes about Mark Hamill, how they felt about the garbage shoot.. things like that.
Then I thought about myself at nineteen, and how confusing of a time it was, and suddenly it all made sense. I can't imagine being thrown into her position at that age, so the confusion and hurt and vulnerability that she brings to attention are all so real and raw. Spending your adolescence on the set of one of the biggest film franchises ever made had to have been hard enough.
This continues on through to the end of the book, where she gives her feelings on comic-cons, and how it feels to be "famous." How it feels to have been Princess Leia. Was it a blessing or a curse? What was the good and the bad? She's dealt with that struggle for the better part of her life, and will continue to do so, and to have that documented is a game changer for a reader, and a fan. Most celebrities don't open up about personal struggles they have with the things that made them, so to see it here, in such a "no-bullshit-this-is-how-I-feel" way was important.
It's an interesting, but powerful, way to end the story, but also a logical one. The book is written in chronological order, so to finish it with a look at her time with the Star Wars fans now is the best way it could have ended.
All in all, if you open this book without a desire to understand Miss Fisher and what she was feeling during her time on the set of Empire Strikes Back, you'll be disappointed. But if you come at it with a fresh set of eyes, you might just find that Princess Leia is human, after all.