‘The Empire Strikes Back’: Carrie Fisher Revealed That John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd Wanted To Be Monsters

Actor Carrie Fisher recalled how The Empire Strikes Back could have looked very different if friends and comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi had their request granted to appear in the film.

Gregg Allman with Dan Ackroyd & John Belushi
Gregg Allman with Dan Ackroyd & John Belushi| Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

“Danny and John wanted to be monsters in The Empire Strikes Back, so I said, ‘Okay, then let me be in your movie, too,’” she recounted, Vulture reports. Fisher made the suggestion to filmmaker George Lucas, but Lucas didn’t bite. However, Fisher did have a meaty role in Aykroyd and Belushi’s iconic film, The Blues Brothers.

She later said Lucas didn’t want the comedy team in the film because “Belushi was such a focus puller,” Fisher said. She offered additional context during a 2017 appearance for Kevin Smith’s new Hulu show Spoilers.

John Belushi would have stolen the spotlight

Belushi and Fisher were too similar, Fisher recalled. “We were similar types,” Fisher said when talking about Belushi. “Too many village idiots spoil the village.”

“[Belushi] thought that Empire would have another scene where there would be the [Mos Eisley Cantina],” she recalled. “[He was] begging me to get him in there.” However, “John was not somebody you could just kind of throw into a scene,” she said. “He was a focus puller. You were going to look at John wherever he was.”

John Belushi as Eric Von Zipper, Bill Murray as Frankie Avalon, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, Gilda Radner as Annette Funicello, Garrett Morris as Chubby Checker during "Beach Blanket Bimbo from Outer Space" skit
John Belushi as Eric Von Zipper, Bill Murray as Frankie Avalon, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, Gilda Radner as Annette Funicello, Garrett Morris as Chubby Checker during “Beach Blanket Bimbo from Outer Space” skit | Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank

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Belushi and Fisher became fast friends. In The Blues Brothers, she starred as his crazed ex-fiancée who made getting revenge her number one job. Belushi and Fisher had natural comedic chemistry, which made them the ideal anti-couple.

“John and Carrie had become very close right away,” Judy Belushi said Vulture reports. “He didn’t suffer fools. Carrie was very feisty.” 

Carrie Fisher found a party buddy on set in Harrison Ford … once

Fisher was known to party pretty hard with Belushi. But even though he wasn’t on The Empire Strikes Back set, she still found a party buddy in co-star Harrison Ford, even if it was for a single wild night. She wrote an essay for Newsweek about how she, Ford, Eric Idle, and the Rolling Stones partied all night.

“Eric had just come home from filming Life of Brian in Tunisia,” Fisher wrote in 1999. “He brought this drink that he said they gave the extras so they’d work longer. I called it Tunisian Table Cleaner. As a rule I’m allergic to alcohol, and Harrison doesn’t really drink either. But that night, there was a makeshift party. The Rolling Stones were there … We stayed up all night and drank the table cleaner and never went to sleep.”

Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Anthony Daniels
Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Anthony Daniels |Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

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Ford and Fisher had to be on set the next morning but didn’t arrive hungover. “We were, like the extras in Tunisia, more than willing to work,” Fisher wrote. “That morning we shot our arrival at Cloud City, where we meet Billy Dee Williams. And it’s one of the very few times in the series both Harrison and I smile. To this day, Eric is proud as a papa of his impact on the trilogy.”