According to the latest rumor circulating on the net, Disney may be planning to retire the iconic Slave Leia costume from future Star Wars merchandise. While the costume is one of the most well-known in the history of not only Star Wars but entertainment in general, it's also come under criticism in recent years. And though everyone can probably agree that Princess Leia is powerful character and role model, Carrie Fisher, even back in a Rolling Stone magazine interview in 1983, said of the costume:
In Return of the Jedi, she gets to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate. But let's not forget that these movies are basically boys' fantasies. So the other way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her clothes.
Speaking recently to actress Daisy Ridley about her role in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fisher also said:
RIDLEY: No, they always talk about how you're a sex symbol, and how do I feel about that. [Fisher sighs] I'm not a sex symbol! [laughs]
FISHER: Listen! I am not a sex symbol, so that's an opinion of someone. I don't share that.
RIDLEY: I don't think that's the right—
FISHER: Word for it? Well, you should fight for your outfit. Don't be a slave like I was.
RIDLEY: All right, I'll fight.
FISHER: You keep fighting against that slave outfit.
RIDLEY: I will.
Adding believability to the rumors, comics artist J. Scott Campbell commented on Facebook:
With Disney coming under fire in the past few years for treating Star Wars like a boys-only franchise, it makes sense that they'd want to distance themselves from portraying their most popular princess as a "boys' fantasy." And while there's sure to be backlash from some fans if this rumor is true, the fact is that nothing is preventing fans from enjoying Leia in her metal bikini in Return of the Jedi, cosplaying in a Slave Leia outfit, or even buying the tons of existing merchandise featuring the costume.
Assuming the rumors are true, and Disney is phasing out Slave Leia from their merchandising, that doesn't even necessarily mean there will never be a Slave Leia toy ever again - just that there likely won't be one right now, while Disney is promoting the new franchise, and it's not the image of the character they want to represent her. Historical collections commemorating Return of the Jedi will probably always feature the costume, if I had to guess.
What I'm trying to say is that it's possible to have progress and still respect history, and there's nothing to say that's not what Disney is doing here. But if you're still upset about Disney's marketing plans, remember that things could be worse: Disney could always get George Lucas to "special edition" a parka right into Return of the Jedi.
The fact is that Leia's slave costume, which appeared in one part of one movie in the franchise, isn't really representative of the character anyway. It's just representative of that prepubescent baby boner it gave you back in 1983. Times have changed since then, but you'll always have that boner. Well, not literally. If you've had a boner since 1983, we'd advise you to see a doctor.
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