The well wishes of an entire generation of movie fans are currently with Carrie Fisher as she recovers from a serious heart attack. While she will forever be known for what she brought as an actress in Star Wars, it turns out she brought a lot to the writing for the films as well. A page from her script for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back recently surfaced on social media which shows how much she changed Leia's dialogue, all for the better.
UPDATE: It's now being reported that the edits made to this page may NOT belong to Carrie Fisher. Read here for more details.
Today fans know that Carrie Fisher is a skilled writer. She's written several autobiographies as well as the biographically inspired novel Postcards from the Edge. However, her books were far from her first endeavor with writing, or at the very least, editing. Will McCrabb, a cinematographer and producer currently working on Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk recently took to Twitter with a script page he says contains had written changes to a scene from The Empire Strikes Back.
The scene is one in the middle of the film where the Millennium Falcon has successfully evaded the Empire by attaching itself directly to one of their ships. While trying to figure out their next move, Han begins to scan neighboring systems looking for a safe port. Eventually, he realizes he's close to Bespin and his friend Lando Calrissian.
What may be the most interesting thing here is that Carrie Fisher isn't only changing her dialogue, she's making changes to Harrison Ford's lines as well. For the most part the changes to Leia dialogue doesn't require changing Han's, but clearly, Fisher is just polishing everything that she sees in need of help.
For the most part, these changes make it into the final film. Leia asking Han where they are doesn't include the line "that depends," which really doesn't make sense to include anyway. The exchange that leads to the joke about Han having logs is cut entirely and is instead left with Leia just saying "there's not much there" just as Carrie Fisher has written here. Even the "Lando system" line as it's delivered in the movie apparently came directly from Carrie Fisher.
It would appear that a great deal of the Empire Strikes Back script was changed while shooting. In addition to Fisher's changes, which we're guessing extended well beyond this one scene, Harrison Ford also changed the final interaction between himself and Carrie Fisher. While it's been often stated that Ford improvised the line "I know," the truth is he actually worked out the change with the screenwriter before hand, as would obviously have been done in this case as well.
Carrie Fisher is an immense talent and we certainly hope we haven't lost her yet. At last word Fisher's condition was stable, which is good. From here we all hope it will begin to improve.
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