Sorry, ‘Star Wars’ Fans, Carrie Fisher Was NOT the First Choice to Play Princess Leia

jodie foster carrie fisher princess leia
Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm/Canva

The Star Wars fanverse has been turned on its side today with news that late actress Carrie Fisher was not Lucasfilm’s first choice for an actress to play Princess Leia. Not only that, but Fisher ultimately became synonymous with the fearless Rebel Alliance leader because the actress George Lucas wanted for the role turned down the offer.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gives Carrie Fisher the send-off she  deserves - CNET

Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

During a recent episode of The Tonight Show on NBC, two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster told host Jimmy Fallon that she was offered the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars, but she ultimately turned it down.

Speaking with Fallon during an interview on the late-night show, Foster said at the time she received the out-of-this-world offer from Lucasfilm, she was already locked into a contract with Walt Disney Pictures for another film, and she didn’t want to break that contract to pursue the Star Wars offer.

Star Wars Review (1977)

Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

“You’ve been in so many iconic roles, and we love what you do,” Fallon said to the famed actress during the segment of the show. “But I saw this on the internet — you were offered the role of Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars.’ Is that true?”

“I was, yeah,” Foster replied. “They were going for a younger Princess Leia, but I had a conflict. I was doing a Disney movie, and I just didn’t want to pull out of the Disney movie because I was already under contract.”


Though Foster did not disclose which project on which she was working at the time, the Disney production timeline suggests it could have been Freaky Friday, a live-action comedy film, which was released one year before Star Wars debuted at the box office on May 25, 1977, starring Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, in their “career-defining roles for the first time,” according to USA Today.

The film is significant in that it “ushered in the cultural phenomenon of a franchise that continues even today.”

Freaky Friday (1976)

Jodie Foster in Disney’s “Freaky Friday” (1976)/Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Just what would the galaxy far, far away have looked like with Jodie Foster as Princess Leia, instead of Carrie Fisher?

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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