A rather interesting article was brought to my attention by GeekTyrant, about how Lucas’ ex wife, Marcia Lucas, helped with some of the more memorable parts of Star Wars. Originally from the website The Secret History of Star Wars, its a long piece describing her contributions to cinema and her relationship with George. Heres some snippets:
She came up with the idea of killing Obi-Wan Kenobi. Lucas told the Rolling Stone:
I was rewriting, I was struggling with that plot problem when my wife suggested that I kill off Ben, which she thought was a pretty outrageous idea, and I said, ‘Well, that is an interesting idea, and I had been thinking about it.’ Her first idea was to have Threepio get shot, and I said impossible because I wanted to start and end the film with the robots, I wanted the film to really be about the robots and have the theme be the framework for the rest of the movie. But then the more I thought about Ben getting killed the more I liked the idea.
She came up with the” kiss of luck”. Hamill had this to say a few years ago:
I know for a fact that Marcia Lucas was responsible for convincing him to keep that little ‘kiss for luck’ before Carrie [Fisher] and I swing across the chasm in the first film: ‘Oh, I don’t like it, people laugh in the previews,’ and she said, ‘George, they’re laughing because it’s so sweet and unexpected’—and her influence was such that if she wanted to keep it, it was in.
She also helped develop the Death Star Trench Warfare:
The Death Star trench run was originally scripted entirely different, with Luke having two runs at the exhaust port; Marcia had re-ordered the shots almost from the ground up, trying to build tension lacking in the original scripted sequence, which was why this one was the most complicated. (Here’s a faithful reproduction of the original assembly, which is surprisingly unsatisfying; start at 4:30.) She warned George, ‘If the audience doesn’t cheer when Han Solo comes in at the last second in the Millennium Falcon to help Luke when he’s being chased by Darth Vader, the picture doesn’t work.’
Pretty cool. I love hearing about unsung heroes, and I’m a firm believer that behind every great man, theres a great woman. I love swapping ideas with my girlfriend when we’re coming up with stories and characters (we’re both animation students, you see).
Personally, I think we need the female influence more then we like to let on. Be it Wife, Partner, Mother, Sister or friend.
Particularly on topic since today is International Women’s Day!
Check out the rest of the article here, for an in depth acount of Marcia Lucas’ carreer.