Margaret Atwood believes a Star Wars movie inspired the terrorists behind the 9/11 bombings, the author told Variety in an interview. The acclaimed author was speaking of a 2000 opera based on her dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale, which began with footage of various structures being blown up, including the World Trade Centre’s Twin Towers, the novelist said. Producers of the show removed the footage after terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre a year later on September 11, “because it was no longer in the future”, said Atwood.

“They didn’t get that idea from my opera, don’t worry,” Atwood continued. “They got the idea from Star Wars.” When asked if she really believed that, Atwood said: “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,” she said.

“Right after 9/11, they hired a bunch of Hollywood screenwriters to tell them how the story might go next,” Atwood added. “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.”

According to The Independent, Atwood appears to be referencing the first Star Wars film of 1977 (now known as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), where protagonist Luke Skywalker explodes the Death Star with the help of Han Solo. The publication added that the parallels between this scene and the 9/11 attacks “appear limited” as Skywalker used torpedoes to explode the Death Star, rather than fly his aircraft into it.