Where were you when the world stopped turning that Alderaanian day? While we're not sure where famed author Margaret Atwood was, we now know that the rebel response to the destruction of Princess Leia's home planet had a lasting effect on the 78-year-old author. And according to her, Al-Qaeda as well, because Atwood believes the terrorist organization was inspired by the 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
In an interview with Variety, Atwood claimed that Al-Qaeda didn't get the idea for 9/11 from a Danish opera adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale, as we thought all along, but instead from Luke Skywalker's trench run on the Death Star.
You attended one of the women’s marches last year. What do you make of this latest wave of activism?
Typically, waves are waves. They hit the shore and then they recede and then they hit the shore again. How many backlashes have we been through? We used to have a race going on, to see which would win, between “1984” and “Brave New World.” It looked as if “Brave New World” had won. That turned out not to be true. Just to give you a very creepy feeling, there was an opera of “The Handmaid’s Tale” that premiered in Denmark in 2000. It started with a film reel going across the top of the stage and showing various things blowing up. And one of the things that blew up was the Twin Towers. But it hadn’t blown up yet. They did the opera again, and they had to take it out, because it was no longer in the future. Does that give you a creepy feeling?
Yes, it does.
They didn’t get that idea from my opera, don’t worry. They got the idea from “Star Wars.”
Do you really believe that?
Remember the first one? Two guys fly a plane in the middle of something and blow that up? The only difference is, in “Star Wars,” they get away. Right after 9/11, they hired a bunch of Hollywood screenwriters to tell them how the story might go next. Sci-fi writers are very good at this stuff, anticipating future events. They don’t all come true, but there are interesting “what if” scenarios.
Traditionally a novelist, Atwood has been branching out into comics with the trilogy Angel Catbird with Johnnie Christmas and the upcoming War Bears, which is set to release in September.
The second season of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale is set to debut April 25.