“Career woman” is a term that enjoyed a certain vogue across the latter half of the twentieth century. An American idiom much bound to the eighties but coined in the thirties, under the guise of defining what a woman is, the phrase points emphatically to what she is not: “a woman whose career is more important to her than getting married and having children.” An archetype born of its time, the career woman is bound to that era’s signature medium: The movies helped midwife her into Western culture; on film she was made unruly (and almost always white) flesh, fed on drive and solo popcorn dinners, dressed in power colors, and sent into an unreconstructed world, where her success or failure typically depended on her willingness to obey a more natural order. There is, of course, no such thing as a career man.
Like an alcoholic who, his own stash of liquor having run dry, rifles madly through a neighbor’s cupboards, Hollywood has of late been rummaging through reels of French films with the notion to remake them.
Twenty-four-year-old Mark Hamill auditioned for the role of “Luke Starkiller” on December 30, 1975. Two and a half months later, he landed in Djerba, Tunisia, took a harrowing taxi ride to Tozeur, and began playing the role that would define his early career.