A week ago, Carrie Fisher finally confirmed that yes, she and Harrison Ford did have an affair during Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. This is all documented in Fisher's new book, The Princess Diarist, which is comprised of the journals she took during the filming of the original #StarWars trilogy. Of course, this news has blown up in much the same way Alderaan did, and we can't wait to get all the juicy details when Fisher's book is released.
When appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Fisher was asked why she chose to reveal this now. After all, the affair happened so long ago.
"Well I'd probably get early-onset Alzheimer's and then you'd never know.... It was 40 years ago. If I waited 50 then I would look worse. It was the right time."
Quipping that she had to reveal this news while she still looked good, Fisher deftly sidestepped the fact that this publicity explosion will no doubt aid her book sales.
But the real question isn't why Fisher didn't reveal this later, but why she didn't reveal it sooner. And in a way, she did.
The Secret Affair That Everyone Knew About
Anyone watching Empire Strikes Back can tell that there was something going on between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford — after all, their chemistry is electric. In the years since the movies were first released, pointed questions from interviews have teased out details about this affair. And Fisher herself has always delighted in hinting that she had sex with Harrison Ford.
Then there were the rumors, fed by on-set spats between Fisher and Ford, the fact that they shared a house during the filming of Empire Strikes Back, and how Fisher followed Ford all the way to Norway even though she wasn't needed for the shooting of those specific Hoth scenes. "I like to travel," she said at the time, and no-one was buying it.
Various publications have mentioned the affair, but not in so many words, talking about the close relationship between Fisher and Ford.
"They had a nice little relationship going there. Whenever anyone couldn’t find Harrison, you’d say, ‘Have you tried Carrie Fisher’s changing room?' "
Back in 1999, Fisher herself admitted to having a crush on Ford, and the rumored affair became a trivia fun fact for Star Wars fans to gossip about. So why bother to keep it a secret?
There are a few reasons. By all accounts, it seems the affair only lasted a few months during the filming of A New Hope. At the time, Fisher was only 19, while Ford was 35 — and married with kids.
If anything was stopping Fisher from revealing the whole story earlier on, it was probably Ford's desire for privacy, not to mention the fact that this would have been a much bigger scandal back when Star Wars was first released.
As Fisher told Stephen Colbert, 40 years later probably is the right time to finally talk about this openly. Ford's kids have long since grown up, and he's now onto his third wife, the fantastic Calista Flockheart, whose role on Supergirl made a tongue-in-cheek reference to Fisher's affair with Ford.
According to Fisher, when she told him about the revelations in her new book, Ford's only response was "lawyer!" Which is very typical of the actor. Over the years, Ford's reaction to Fisher's allegations and hints has usually been that of wry amusement — during the press tour for The Force Awakens, when told that Fisher recognized him from the sound of his steps, Ford semi-joked "she lies all the time."
Clearly, the relationship between Fisher and Ford went from lovers, to "love-hate" during Empire, to good friends. It's nice to know that the two are still close... and it'll be oh-so-delicious to read Fisher's new book, as she finally tells the world the secret she's been (kinda) keeping for 40 years.
Watch this Empire scene, which was deleted because it "betrayed the attitude of the actors"...
...and tell us in the comments: Were you surprised to hear of Fisher and Ford's affair?
[Source: Vanity Fair, 1980 Spanish interview with Fisher, interviews with Ford and Fisher about sharing a house, Skywalking: The Life & Times Of George Lucas (1999) via Tumblr]