If there’s one thing that the original Star Wars trilogy teaches us about Carrie Fisher’s character of Princess Leia Organa, it’s that she is one fierce female. Outspoken, battle-ready and highly intelligent, she held her own both alongside and against Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, and Jabba the Hutt. All of this empowering character building falls apart, however, with the infamous “Slave Leia” wardrobe. After being captured by Jabba the Hutt, Leia is forced to wear a skimpy bikini-like costume. She totally kicks ass and frees herself, but that image was enough to cause controversy.It would be a shame if the first glimpse you ever got of Leia was of her scantily clad during that first act of Return of the Jedi. That’s not the true Leia. That is a sexualized version of Leia, used to fulfill one of Jabba’s piggish fantasies. A new rumor from a veteran Star Wars artist, however, claims that Disney and Lucasfilm are both aware of the disconcerting iconic status of “Slave Leia”, and are taking steps towards retiring the look for good.
Fisher herself has been outspoken about the outfit and the stigma surrounding it, urging Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley:
“You should fight for your outfit. Don’t be a slave like I was,”
“You keep fighting against that slave outfit.”
Comic book artist J. Scott Campbell, for his part, assures us that Disney is working to remove all variations of “Slave Leia” from future merchandise. Here’s his quote on the matter, pulled from a Facebook thread:
“Daisy Ridley won’t have to fight against anything. Disney is already well on it’s way to wiping out the ‘slave’ outfit from any future products period. You will NOT see and future merchandising featuring the slave outfit ever again. Trust me.”
Elaborating further, Campbell divulged that artists are forbidden from drawing Leia in any type of sexy poses:
“Very. I’ve heard it from two sources. We can’t even draw Leia in a sexy pose at Marvel, let alone in that outfit! We also had a 3-D SL statue killed at a major manufacturer because there will no longer be any SL merchandise.”
Having done plenty of Star Wars work in the past, and being someone who both Disney and Lucasfilm have given orders to before, Campbell’s comments should carry a substantial amount of weight. He’s even provided variant covers for the premier issue of Marvel’s new Star Wars comic:
Times are changing, and it seems that the parties involved are taking the appropriate steps to make things right. Leia is returning to The Force Awakens as a leader of the Resistance, and a vital one at that. Her toys and merchandise will feature her as a soldier first and foremost. “Slave Leia” is slowly but surely being edged out of the picture.
To go along with these changing times, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has been vocal about infusing more diversity into the Star Wars universe, and has made a difference already: the stars of The Force Awakens are a black man and a woman. It looks like things are moving in a very progressive direction, and will hopefully continue to do so! More girls are embracing Star Wars now more than ever, and they need to know that it doesn’t matter one bit how you look in a bikini when there are more important things at hand- like leading the Resistance.
Category: Nerd Culture