Star Wars today is one of the biggest entertainment franchises ever conceived of, but there was a time when nobody had any idea if the first film would work or not. It turns out one of the people who was far from convinced of Star Wars' future was Princess Leia herself Carrie Fisher. In a new book, Fisher's brother Todd reveals that, due to the fact that so much of the movie had to be created in post-production, nobody had any idea what the final cut would actually look like. As such, Fisher was apparently terrified as she went in to see the movie for the first time, wondering if the film would ruin her career. According to Todd Fisher...
So we're sitting in the parking lot waiting to go into the screening. Now, this is the first time anybody's seen anything. This is days before it comes out to the theaters. She's smoking, chain-smoking, drinking --- Coca-Cola in one hand, cigarette in the other hand. She just doesn't want to go, and I'm like, 'You know we've got to go in.' I'm sitting there watching the lights go down, you know --- literally, doors are closing. 'We've got to go now.' So I finally get her to put her cigarette out. By this point, there's nowhere to sit except the front row. So we sit in the front row and it starts, and we watch those titles go by and then the battlecruiser flies over and I looked over, and I had her hand, she was squeezing my hand, panicked. I said, 'This is no B movie.'
It's almost unbelievable now that there was ever doubt in Star Wars. It's not like the movie was a cult hit. From day one the movie was a smash. Still, you can imagine that making it would have been something quite different. Without knowing what the final version would look like, without the lightsabers and blaster fire flying around, never mind all the spaceships, it's all a mystery. Even if the actors give it their all, if everything around them looks cheesy then the performances will get lost in the noise. Luckily, as Todd Fisher says in his book My Girls (via Yahoo) it only took the first shot of the movie for him, and likely many others, to realize Star Wars was going to be something else.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Carrie Fisher would go on to become an icon thanks to her role as Princess Leia. She jumped at the chance to reprise that role in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though much of that was due to the fact that opportunities for older actresses are few and far between. She will be missed when Star Wars Episode IX arrives in 2019, but we'll always have the original trilogy, and that random English accent, to remind us of her when we need it.