Carrie Fisher Became a Writer Because She Knew She Could Do Better Than George Lucas
At the Tribeca Film Festival this week, Carrie Fisher took part in a Q & A for Catastrophe, along with the show’s co-star and co-creator Sharon Horgan. By the way, Catastrophe’s second season has been up on Amazon for a couple of weeks now and it is phenomenal. We haven’t been talking about that enough. Making a mental note now to talk about that more.
Anyway, even though Fisher may have been on the panel to talk about her role as Rob Delaney’s horror show of a mother, who somehow manages to be equal parts overbearing and absentee, culminating in a perfect storm of mother-in-law hell, you can’t have Carrie Fisher in a Q & A and not get some Q’s about or leading to Star Wars.
So while Horgan and Fisher had what sounds like a fantastic and depressing discussion on women in Hollywood, she also managed to drop a pretty great tidbit of shade at the original trilogy.
During the talk (for which, by the way, her adorable famous dog Gary was splayed at her feet), Fisher said that she never wanted to be an actress. Growing up in the business, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, she knew too much about the industry to find it enticing.
I did not want to be an actress. I watched it growing up and there was no glamour in it for me. I know what happens in the end — or in the middle.
Fisher said she knew, “there are not a lot of choices for women past the age of 27.” (Horgan calls it “the magic number.”) Apparently she DID know early on, though, that she wanted to be a writer. In addition to her novels and her memoirs, it’s weirdly still not entirely widely known that she’s been working as a screenplay doctor, doing punch-ups on major films, for decades. And now she’s revealed her inspiration for turning down that path.
It was George Lucas’ shitty dialogue. And more than anything else, this one line:
My god, that’s a terrible line.
To drive home her point, she repeated the line (“I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit”) three times for the audience. Which she was able to do because when you hate something that vehemently, it tends to stick in your brain for a couple decades. Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered why Leia has a British accent for that line, it’s because she couldn’t bear to say it otherwise, in her normal voice.
So thank you, George Lucas, not only for giving us four beautiful Star Wars movies (THERE ARE ONLY FOUR), but for writing dialogue so bad, it put Carrie Fisher on the path to giving us (or at least polishing) Hook, The River Wild (AKA one of the greatest movies of all time), Sister Act and Lethal Weapon 3.
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