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These are pictures of my sister on her way to her senior prom. (Go, Richard Montgomery Rockets!) Why she wore her hair that way I don’t know. (She’s not happy that I found the photo.) It was certainly not her usual style. I don’t think it was anybody’s style.

Until May of 1977, when Star Wars debuted at the Uptown Theater. My sister graduated in 1972. Obviously, the character of Princess Leia was inspired, in part, by Patti Nuttycombe.

For more evidence, let’s turn to page 146 of the paperback edition of Dale Pollack‘s biography Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas, the Creator of Star Wars:

“George had been waiting since childhood to see a romantic-fantasy-adventure story set in a distant time and place….When he finished editing American Graffiti in February 1972, Lucas went right to work on his idea.”

So the script began the same year as the photo. Interesting, yes? I’m still investigating how Lucas or designer Ralph McQuarrie found their way to a high school in Rockville. Perhaps they were searching for Dagobah locations. Maybe Patti’s date, Dave Traynor, gave them a tip. Haven’t seen him around lately. But, really, the picture speaks for itself. Ipso facto, case closed.

So, George, reach into that big bag of money you sit on all day while you’re dreaming up new ways to ruin the franchise and toss some coins this way. Don’t make me get out the pictures of my slow cousin, Binks.