When George Lucas’ science fiction epic Star Wars was released to the world in 1977, cinema would be forever changed, with the film’s meteoric impact transforming the way blockbusters were consumed and marketed. From C-3PO lunch boxes to Ewok handbags, the Star Wars universe pervaded every nook and cranny of western culture, with each of the leading stars, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill becoming icons of the late 20th-century zeitgeist.
Understandably, when a relationship between Ford and Fisher was rumoured on the set of the film, the mainstream media became very interested, reporting on the rumours with a remarkable lack of actual evidence. As revealed in a final memoir from the late Carrie Fisher titled The Princess Diarist, however, it was revealed that an affair did indeed take place between the married 33-year-old Ford and a young Fisher when she was aged just 19.
Keeping the romance to themselves for 40 years, Fisher detailed that their romance was mostly sexual, telling Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford of the Today Show that it was more like a “three-month one-night stand”. Feeling guilty about the affair that was initiated by Ford whilst filming in London, Fisher remembered, “I wasn’t raised that way, but when you’re on location — this is something I discovered — everything is permitted”.
Staying professional on set, Fisher reported wanting more from the affair than Ford did, saying in her memoir that she was “obsessed” with the actor and made attaining him her “number one priority”. Fantasising about Ford leaving his wife, Mary Marquardt, for her, unfortunately for the young actor, such a dream never came to fruition and when filming wrapped on the original Star Wars, Ford went back to his family.
Shortly after the release of the influential science fiction flick, Ford divorced Marquardt, giving Fisher a chance to briefly rekindle her love with the actor on the set of the sequel film, The Empire Strikes Back. Though, with the passing of time Fisher had moved on, marrying Paul Simon in 1983 before hastily divorcing and dating the American talent agent Bryan Lourd instead.
Telling the Today Show that she contacted the actor before the release of the book, Ford reportedly jokingly told Fisher that they needed to “lawyer” up, whilst the Princess Leia actor believed the book would be “too much” for her co-star to handle.
Whilst they engaged in a passionate sounding affair in the late 1970s, it sounds as though the burning desire between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher never properly took off, even if the two of them clearly shared a love for each other. As the late actor told The Guardian in 2016, “Yes, I love him. I’ll always feel something for him”. We hope such a fantasy is romantic fantasy is taking place in an alternate galaxy far, far away.