Not OK: Carrie Fisher was pressured to lose a LOT of weight for ‘Force Awakens’

When we first heard that classic Star Wars favorites like Luke, Leia, and Han would be reprising their roles in Force Awakens, we were so excited we were basically TOO excited. And then when we heard that in this latest installment “Princess Leia” is now known as General Leia? What’s about a hundred miles past “too excited”? Whatever that is, we were that.

Unfortunately, we have to take a break from being too excited to be too disappointed for a solid minute. As PEOPLE reports,  59-year-old Carrie Fisher was pressured to drop 35 pounds to play the role she last played 33 years ago. As Fisher explained to Good Housekeeping U.K.: 

Because it was so important to her to play Leia again, Fisher did what she was asked and dropped the weight, but the feat was by no means easy.

Fisher’s feelings about her weight loss are complicated to say the least.

As Fisher explained to Good Housekeeping UK, she’s been receiving the false message that the Hollywood standard of beauty is the ONLY standard of beauty since childhood, as the daughter of Old Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds and pop superstar of yore, Eddie Fisher.

Even though Fisher now has a much more critical view of industry beauty standards, it’s still very much her world, and living in that world can be equal parts exhausting and depressing.

It breaks our hearts to hear that the Star Wars powers that be insisted that Fisher lose this drastic amount of weight and it breaks our hearts all over again to hear that this news came as no surprise to Fisher, who is all too used to this world of body-shaming.

Recently, J.J. Abrams told Good Morning America that he wants his Star Wars to be women-friendly.

Star Wars was always a boy’s thing,” Abrams explained. “I was really hoping this could be a movie that mothers could take their daughters to as well.”

Of course we appreciate this, and of course we are still over the moon excited to see the new Star Wars, but it’s hard to shake this gross feeling after learning about the hoops Fisher had to jump through to reprise her role. We can’t help but feel like the real way to make this a film that mothers can take their daughters to with a clear conscience would have been to acknowledge that what makes Leia Leia is not her weight. It’s not even her iconic hair (though we <3 Leia’s double buns forever). It’s her smarts, her strength, and her spirit. That’s what we’ll all be excited to see from Fisher when we file into the theater for Force Awakens, and those qualities have absolutely nothing to do with what number pops up when Fisher steps on the scale. And even if the people behind the weight loss request could not see this at the time, we’re hopeful that maybe they can see this when Fisher rocks the big screen in December.

(Image via Lucasfilm)

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