Jodie Foster Reveals She Almost Played Princess Leia in STAR WARS

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It’s hard to imagine anyone but Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher as Luke, Han, and Leia in Star Wars. However, offers did go out to some other actors, including one who is very famous today. Via The Hollywood Reporter, we learned that George Lucas did indeed offer Oscar-winner Jodie Foster the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars. Jodie Foster revealed this Princess Leia news while appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote her role in True Detective: Night Country. Here’s what she told Fallon when he brought up her near-casting in the role:

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. They did an amazing job, I don’t know how good I would have been. I might have had different hair. I might have gone with a pineapple.

So, unfortunately, Jodie Foster had to turn it down the Star Wars role due to previous commitments. Back in 1976, when Lucas shot A New Hope, Jodie Foster was filming Taxi Driver, Bugsy Malone, and Freaky Friday. The last one on that list is a Disney film, so it was likely that Freak Friday obligations caused Foster to miss out on being Princess Leia. All of those films were hits that made Foster an even bigger star than before, though. So it wasn’t like she missed out by not getting the part. And maybe Foster wouldn’t have wanted her face attached to all kinds of Princess Leia toys for the rest of her life.

Jodie Foster in her role in Disney's Freaky Friday (1976) and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars (1977)
Disney/Lucasfilm

Had they cast Foster as Leia, the trajectory of the Star Wars saga would have likely changed drastically. After all, in 1976, the actress was all of 13/14 years old. And that means she looked significantly younger than Mark Hamill. So, that famous Return of the Jedi twist of Leia being Luke’s long-lost sibling? Probably would not have worked with Foster in the role. Nor would a romantic pairing with Harrison Ford’s Han Solo. The role of Leia would have likely become what Ahsoka was in The Clone Wars to Anakin and Obi-Wan, the spunky kid sister. We would love to visit the alt-reality where Jodie Foster was Leia, though. If only to see her iconic cinnamon bun hairdo become a pineapple hairdo.