Earlier this week, The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood raised a few eyebrows in an interview with Variety, when she somehow managed to draw a connection between Star Wars and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

It all started when Atwood told the interviewer about an opera version of The Handmaid’s Tale, performed in Denmark a year before the 9/11 attacks, that featured an opening sequence in which the twin towers of the World Trade Centre were blown up.

After remarking on the “creepy” coincidence, she went on to reassure the interviewer that she herself did not inspire the terrorist attack. “They didn’t get that idea from my opera, don’t worry,” she said. “They got the idea from Star Wars.”

When asked to explain this fairly baffling assertion, she told the interviewer:

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

Understandably, pinning a terrorist attack on a beloved sci-fi film caused a bit of a stir, but when asked to clarify her comments at Variety’s Power Of Women lunch later in the week, the author went off on another odd tangent involving kamikaze pilots. She said:

“So, flying a vehicle into a target to blow it up, okay? Star Wars is fiction so he gets out, but Japanese World War II kamikaze pilots did the same thing, so it’s not a new thing and it’s not an original thought with me. I just thought people already knew that, but I guess some people are so young that they forgot about that.”

Well there you go, that … doesn’t exactly explain anything, and now it’s even less clear how all these things fit together, but okay, you do you, Margaret Atwood. You can watch her interview below:

Image: Getty Images / Teresa Kroeger