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The Iconic Star Wars Actress Who Almost Played Sandy From Grease

"Grease" is arguably one of the most recognizable musical films ever made. Featuring what would become an all-star cast with stars like John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and Stockard Channing, the 1978 film contains all of the ingredients of a classic. The film spawned a sequel, "Grease 2," and Hollywood is still trying to pull more content from the IP for modern audiences to enjoy. In 2020, Paramount+ announced a prequel in the form of "Summer Loving" (per The Hollywood Reporter).

One of the most iconic characters from "Grease" is Newton-John's Sandy Olsson, an innocent high school girl who finds herself in a relationship with Travolta's Danny Zuko, the leader of a prominent gang called the T-Birds. Their romance is the driving force of the film, and it's Travolta and Newton-John's chemistry that has helped the film remain a mainstay in pop culture, alongside the film's massively successful soundtrack, which has sold the equivalent of more than 52 million records (per ChartMasters). However, "Grease" could have been a lot different, especially since an iconic "Star Wars" actress nearly got the role of Sandy instead.

Carrie Fisher was considered for the role of Sandy in Grease

According to a deep dive into the film's history by Vanity Fair in 2015, the process of casting Sandy in "Grease" was proving to be a difficult affair for director Randal Kleiser. However, one day, he was able to check out some raw footage of "Star Wars" – a film written and directed by his college friend George Lucas — and tried to ascertain whether or not Carrie Fisher could be right for the role. However, the director couldn't quite work out if she had the acting or singing skills to nail the role, so he moved on.

Others who were looked at include Susan Dey, Deborah Raffin, and even Marie Osmond. Osmond was actually the frontrunner for a long time, but she had qualms with the way Sandy's development played out and decided not to pursue the role. Still, it's hard not to think about how well Fisher would have been in the role. Considering that Sandy started out as more of a soft-spoken, innocent character before developing more of an edge, this would have been a good role for Fisher to show off her acting chops. Basically, it would have been an entirely different type of character from Princess Leia, who Fisher portrayed in "Star Wars." It's difficult to say whether or not "Grease" would have achieved the same level of success without Olivia Newton-John, but it'll surely be fun for fans to speculate nonetheless.