Star Wars, an unparalleled monolith, has had an immeasurable cultural impact. It has inspired the parody movie Spaceballs, so much Princess Leia cosplay, an unofficial religion, and if you ask Margaret Atwood, 9/11. Wait, what?
Variety’s new interview with the author, titled “Margaret Atwood on How Donald Trump Helped ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” starts out as most do with her: She dodges questions about whether her stories could be considered feminist, and in general, she gives relatively evasive answers. But then it gets weird. Toward the end of the interview, Atwood brings up a pre-9/11 Danish opera of The Handmaid’s Tale that started with a reel of multiple buildings blowing up, including the Twin Towers. Totally creeped out by the coincidence, Atwood asks interviewer Ramin Setoodeh, “Does that give you a creepy feeling?” And then, this exchange happens:
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.
Hmmmmmm. Anyway, here’s the best response: