The Princess Diarist: The Other Half of Princess Leia

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“I had never been Princess Leia before and now I would be her forever. I would never not be Princess Leia. I had no idea how profoundly true that was and how long forever was.”

19-year-old Carrie Fisher had just landed her first major acting gig in some “strange little space film” that her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, didn’t approve of, and had no idea how much it would change her world. Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist is a witty, adventurous and heartfelt novel that details the wild ride that was her life during the filming of Star Wars.

In her memoir, Fisher is charming, delightful and honest. She says what she thinks, and it often gets her into trouble. Carrie is surrounded by a slew of interesting characters, from the charismatic Mark Hamill to the stern and silent George Lucas. As Carrie grows from a girl to a young woman, it seems like everything is going perfectly… and then she meets him.

Now, Carrie has grown into a woman known around the world, but in 1976 she was just a teenage girl with a crush on an older co-star in a film she never imagined would become the sensation it is today. When going through some of her old things, she discovered some journals that she had kept during the shooting of the first few films, and was both shocked and delighted to see what thoughts of hers they held.

Carrie Fisher’s writing is sarcastic one minute and sincere the next, taking the reader on a rollercoaster of emotion as she tells the story of her life during the filming of Star Wars. The Princess Diarist is the kind of book that keeps you up reading all night, and keeps you daydreaming about it for weeks afterward. In the wake of Carrie’s death, followed closely by that of her mother Debbie Reynolds, it is an insightful book that offers a glance into the mind of both a troubled teenager and an experienced woman trying to survive in the world of Hollywood fame.


Em McCullough is a junior studying professional writing and environmental studies and sustainability. She’s a member of the MSU Women’s Water Polo team and works at the MSU Writing Center and the Journal for the Study of Radicalism. On a normal day, you can find her with a book in hand, cat on her lap, drinking a cup of tea. You can follow her cat on Instagram @bennetthecat.


Tags: books, Princess Diarist, princess leia, review, star wars