The Rolling Stones Almost Ruined Star Wars

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

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Before she died, Princess Leia actor Carrie Fisher penned a memoir that spilled all sorts of juicy secrets, including confirmation that she really did have a secret offscreen love affair with fellow Star Wars actor Harrison Ford. To us, though, their secret affair wasn’t even the craziest part of her wild Hollywood history. No, the craziest thing was when, shortly before her death, she told Conan O’Brien about partying with the Rolling Stones during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back and how it very nearly affected the production of the movie.

How The Rolling Stones Crossed Paths With Star Wars

We know what you’re thinking: just how the heck do a pair of Star Wars legends get mixed up with the Rolling Stones in the first place? To hear Fisher tell the story, it started with a coincidence (or maybe the will of The Force)…at the time, she was renting Eric Idle’s house out for about five months while he was off filming Monty Python. It sounded like a tidy arrangement where she wouldn’t get to see much of Idle in the flesh, but that was all about to change in a big way.

Harrison Ford And Carrie Fisher Partied While Filming

Eventually, Eric Idle was back in town and invited his favorite Star Wars actor to a party. You guessed it: the Rolling Stones were there, and they were looking to party. After verifying that Idle hadn’t been pulling her leg about the presence of these rock legends, Fisher called Harrison Ford (still her secret lover at the time) to hang out.

The Tunisian Death Drink

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By all accounts, it was an amazing party. Neither Star Wars actor has publicly confirmed any of the more salacious rumors about doing drugs with the Rolling Stones. Still, Fisher admitted that they enjoyed a drink Eric Idle introduced them to known as the “Tunisian Death Drink.” Allegedly, this was a drink given to extras on the Monty Python set to make them “more compliant.”

Showed Up To Set Hungover

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Perhaps sensing that this was pop culture history, the two Star Wars actors partied hard with the Rolling Stones, drinking generously and generally having a great time. They were having so much fun that they lost track of the time. This wouldn’t have been a problem except that they had to film a scene for The Empire Strikes Back the next day, and they didn’t have any time to sleep off the inevitable hangover.

Ford And Fisher Were Drunk In Cloud City

That means that when this secret Star Wars couple arrived to film the scene where they arrive at Cloud City and meet Lando Calrissian, they were still drunk, courtesy of the Rolling Stones. According to Fisher, this was evident on their faces: she pointed out to Conan O’Brien that neither she nor Ford smiled much throughout the movie, but they were smiling quite a bit throughout the scene. Fortunately, Han Solo being all smiles with his old pal worked for the story; otherwise, two key actors showing up tired and drunk to the set could have wrecked an already beleaguered production.

We love stories like this because it proves that while fans may take Star Wars deadly seriously, the films are at their best when the actors are just having as much fun as possible. We don’t think it gets more fun than partying with the Rolling Stones at the height of their fame. The whole story leaves us with just one big question: do you think Harrison Ford would tell us how to mix up our own Tunisian Death Drinks?