Margaret Atwood Has Expressed an Odd Theory About Death Stars and 9/11

Photo: AP

Margaret Atwood did a weird interview with Variety on Tuesday in which she went off on a tangent for a while about she thinks Star Wars inspired the 9/11 attacks.

Toward the end of the interview, Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh, asks The Handmaid’s Tale author for her thoughts on the women’s marches and “this latest wave of activism,” to which she gives an answer about the extent to which certain classics of speculative fiction were able to anticipate the future. She ends by saying, “Just to give you a very creepy feeling, there was an opera of “The Handmaid’s Tale” that premiered in Denmark in 2000. It started with a film reel going across the top of the stage and showing various things blowing up. And one of the things that blew up was the Twin Towers. But it hadn’t blown up yet. They did the opera again, and they had to take it out, because it was no longer in the future. Does that give you a creepy feeling?”


This is the exchange that follows that one:

“Setoodeh: Yes, it does.

Atwood: They didn’t get that idea from my opera, don’t worry. They got the idea from Star Wars.

S: Do you really believe that?

A: 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.”

I’m not sure if you’d call this a conspiracy theory or what, but I’m pretty sure Atwood thinks the concept of flying something into the middle of something else and then it explodes sprang from the fertile imagination of George Lucas exclusively.

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Hannah Gold

contributing writer, nights