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The Women Who Shaped the Star Wars Franchise

Rian Johnson and Carrie Fisher as General Leia on the set of Star Wars The Last Jedi

Carrie Fisher

Last, but certainly not least, Star Wars' own Princess Leia lent her hand behind the scenes as well. While Carrie Fisher is best known for playing the rebel princess-turned-general, she was also a talented script doctor who was called in to help rework and rewrite dialogue in films. Script doctors are more often than not uncredited, but Fisher is known to have worked on a number of films in the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's, including Spielberg's Hook (1991), Sister Act (1993), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), and Intolerable Cruelty (2003).

Fisher's first and last projects as a script doctor, however, were the Star Wars films. She got her start rewriting scripts while filming the Star Wars original trilogy. She also reportedly contributed to the prequel films as a script doctor, and Rian Johnson talked about how she worked with him on the script for The Last Jedi (2018). Johnson would go to Fisher's house, sit on her bed, talk through his ideas, and share drafts with her. From beginning to end, Fisher shaped her iconic character, and, credited or not, is the creator and keeper of Princess Leia.

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Star Wars creative opportunities and credits have overwhelmingly to white men, but white women, men of color, and women of color have and continue to contribute to Star Wars' past and future. Lucasfilm now needs to give directorial opportunities and credits to women and people of color.

Sources: The Mary Sue, Film Freak CentralRolling Stone, WSJ, Star Wars.com

Key Release Dates
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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