The survivors of the original cast of Star Wars looked "a little melted" when they reassembled this month to begin work on Episode VII, according to the actor Carrie Fisher, the once and future Princess Leia.
The film, set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, and intended to be the first of three, will reunite Fisher with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker respectively.
"We all look a little melted. It's good to see other melted people," Fisher told a packed audience at the Hay festival. "And it is good to have us all in a room because it's unique. I mean, I don't suppose they have reunions for the Gone With The Wind gang."
Details of the title, budget and plot of the new film are still under wraps, but it will be made at Pinewood Studios in England and an undisclosed location.
It will be the first since the derided prequel Revenge of the Sith – one star in the Guardian – was assumed to have driven a stake through the heart of the series. It will also be the first since Disney studios acquired original creator George Lucas's Lucasfilms, and will be directed and co-scripted by JJ Abrams, who has already directed two Star Trek films.
Fisher dropped out of drama school, aged 19, to play Princess Leia in 1977. "We are doing it over again so I can get Princess Leia right this time. I think less British. I looked a little pretentious faking the accent. It was sort of a viral accent – it came and went.
"I would rather have played Han Solo. When I first read the script I thought that's the part to be, always wry and sardonic. He's always that. I feel like a lot of the time Leia's either worried or pissed or, thank God, sort of snarky. But I'm much more worried and pissed than Han Solo ever was, and those aren't fun things to play." Her best moment, she said, was killing the monstrous Jabba the Hutt. "I had a lot of fun killing Jabba the Hutt. They asked me on the day if I wanted to have a stunt double kill Jabba. No! That's the best time I ever had as an actor. And the only reason to go into acting is if you can kill a giant monster."
She refused to reveal any details of the new film – "I would get in trouble no matter how I answer that question" – but has some concerns about her hair: "That hairdo can never really be repeated without gales of laughter. I've begged them to put the hair back on in grey and just catch me cooking with the hair, like Granny Leia."
And did she, one audience questioner asked, still have that gold bikini? "Why would I keep a stupid outfit like that, so that years later I could say to you I have it? No, I wear it on special occasions. I've got it on underneath this. I wear it always, for luck."
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