If you ever watched The Empire Strikes Back and thought that Han Solo and Princess Leia seemed a little spaced out when they first arrived in Cloud City, it’s not just because they had spent time occupying the stomach of a giant asteroid-dwelling space worm only a few scenes prior.
Allow us to explain.
In a 2015 interview with The Daily Beast, Carrie Fisher (RIP) reminisced about a late night party she’d had with the Rolling Stones at Monty Python member Eric Idle’s house during the filming of 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Harrison Ford was also in attendance and according to Fisher, they both drank so much of something called a “Tunisian Death Drink” that they were still drunk into next day’s shoot.
“We had an early call, and Eric called down and said, ‘The Rolling Stones are here!’ and I came down and it was all of them,” Fisher said. “I called Harrison and said, ‘Get over here! This is ridiculous!’ I wonder how he remembers it. I remember that we never went to sleep, so we weren’t hungover — we were still drunk when we arrived in Cloud City the next day. We don’t really smile a lot in the movie, but there we’re smiling.”
In a new interview with The New York Times to promote his new memoir, Always Look on The Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography, Idle confirmed Fisher’s story, though he says that she and Ford were high rather than drunk the next day.
“We had a party the night before. We stayed up too late. We were having too much fun. Carrie Fisher had rented my house and she was staying there. We went to bed and they went to work. It turns out when they filmed the scene, they were still a little high. So yes, I’m proud of that moment.”
Whether Fisher and Ford were drunk, high, or some combination of the two, it’s hard to imagine that Tunisian Death Drink was the only thing being consumed at a party that was also attended by late-70s era Rolling Stones. It’s hard to say whether or not the Cloud City dinner scene was also shot that same day, but it would help explain why Han thought it was a good idea to try and shoot Darth Vader with a blaster.
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