Disney To Retire All Slave Leia Merch
November 5, 2015 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Disney To Retire All Slave Leia Merchandise Word has it from "informed sources" at Disney that they company will stop releasing or authorizing any merchandise featuring the famed Slave Leia version of the original trilogy heroine sometime in 2016. Even a fan movement to re-christen the look as "Slayer Leia" (because she kills Jabba with the chain in the pleasure barge fight scene) is not really in the cards for official use.
posted by briank (146 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh god, the fanboys who routinely lose their shit on Twitter for any perceived slight on their precious childhood memories must be apoplectic.

yay
posted by Kitteh at 10:32 AM on November 5, 2015 [111 favorites]


So yeah, it's win-win.
posted by Etrigan at 10:32 AM on November 5, 2015 [47 favorites]


I'm all for the de-commodification of the sexualization of subjugation of women.

There's no caveat there. I'm just glad this thing is fading from the official merchandise.
posted by brecc at 10:33 AM on November 5, 2015 [21 favorites]


The skeleton war is going nicely.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:33 AM on November 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think they should just go ahead and retire merchandise.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 10:36 AM on November 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


\m/ Slayer Leia? \m/
posted by entropicamericana at 10:39 AM on November 5, 2015 [19 favorites]


I think the first clue that I was gay should have come at age 14 when I went to see ROTJ on opening day and all the furor in Junior High amongst my male peers was about Leia in the slave outfit and my reaction was "oh, that was actually sort of gross and objectifying" (although I didn't have a word for "objectifying" at the time).

I didn't get that clue at the time. But in retrospect, it should have been obvious.
posted by hippybear at 10:40 AM on November 5, 2015 [23 favorites]


In a joint statement, Disney has also announced that all Jar-Jar Binks related merchandise shall be cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlaac where the merchandise shall find a new definition of pain and suffering as it is slowly digested over a thousand years.
posted by Fizz at 10:42 AM on November 5, 2015 [37 favorites]


Oh god, the fanboys who routinely lose their shit on Twitter for any perceived slight on their precious childhood memories must be apoplectic.

I can't wait for the #FreeSlaveLeia hashtag and then watch irony and stupidity actually try to eat the other.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2015 [27 favorites]


In a joint statement, Disney has also announced that all Jar-Jar Binks related merchandise shall be cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlaac where the merchandise shall find a new definition of pain and suffering as it is slowly digested over a thousand years.

I'm pretty sure that violates laws regarding the protection of endangered species, disposal of toxic waste, and littering.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:45 AM on November 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


And all existing Slave Leia merchandise just turned into gold.
posted by FJT at 10:48 AM on November 5, 2015 [23 favorites]


Does this also mean that the gold bikini will be excised from other media? I mean, it even shows up in the Lego Star Wars games.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:49 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can we also wipe out The Courtship of Princess Leia?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:50 AM on November 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Will they change the original poster?
posted by shenkerism at 10:50 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good on 'em.
posted by numaner at 10:50 AM on November 5, 2015


From the article:
In her autobiographical stage show Wishful Drinking, Fisher once made an acerbic attack on a Leia figurine she once received that seemed a little too revealing. “I told George, ‘You have the rights to my face,’” she said. “You do not have the rights to my 'lagoon of mystery!'’”
I love Carrie Fisher.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:51 AM on November 5, 2015 [99 favorites]


In a joint statement, Disney has also announced that all Jar-Jar Binks related merchandise shall be cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlaac where the merchandise shall find a new definition of pain and suffering as it is slowly digested over a thousand years.

Watch it...
posted by Etrigan at 10:51 AM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh god, the fanboys who routinely lose their shit on Twitter for any perceived slight on their precious childhood memories must be apoplectic.

It's a joy to behold. I'm starting the rumor that the next Special Edition of the movie will have a new scene where Jabba gives Leia her own office and competitive benefits package, including profit sharing.
posted by dr_dank at 10:51 AM on November 5, 2015 [51 favorites]




As a kid the idea that a giant slug creature wanted to see scantily clad human women seemed incredibly weird.

Actually it still does.
posted by selfnoise at 10:54 AM on November 5, 2015 [68 favorites]


Look out, C3PO. (Possibly NSFW, depending on your employer's stance on droids)
posted by gnomeloaf at 10:56 AM on November 5, 2015


I think the first clue that I was gay should have come at age 14 when I went to see ROTJ

No, even as a heterosexual, proto-Nice-Guy nerd I thought it was squicky and it was the weirdest thing to see other nerds into the image.
posted by Jpfed at 10:56 AM on November 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's okay if you had a sexual reaction to this version of Leia in your youth.

But if you continue to have this fantasy as an adult, you're Ross Gellar, so go ahead and reexamine your life choices then.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2015 [21 favorites]


In a joint statement, Disney has also announced that all Jar-Jar Binks related merchandise shall be cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlaac where the merchandise shall find a new definition of pain and suffering as it is slowly digested over a thousand years.

#NotAllSarlaacs
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


As a kid the idea that a giant slug creature wanted to see scantily clad human women seemed incredibly weird.

It never even occurred to me that he put her in the bikini for himself. He's a mob boss who runs weapons and nightclubs, so I always figured his plans for Leia were to sell her to the highest bidder, either for food, or for sex, or for both, but the costume primarily for the latter. Being gross at her before the bidding begins is just the regular mob boss schtick.

(So basically, Leia is temporarily Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken. Except Liam Neeson is also Qui-Gon?)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:00 AM on November 5, 2015 [19 favorites]


Trapped in Jabba’s palace
A lifeless object, alive
Awaiting reprisal
Death will be Hutt’s acquisition

The sky is turning red
Return to Jedi draws near
Fall unto me, Sarlacc’s crimson tears
Abolish the bucket made of bolts

Tighten your grip, star systems slip through your fingers
Betrayed by many, now someone has to save our skins

Awaiting the blind scruffy nerf herder
Your time… slips… a…way

Raining blood!
From a turbo-laserated sky
Strangling the horror
Pointing the gun at the deck
Now I shall reign in blood!
posted by Smedleyman at 11:01 AM on November 5, 2015 [18 favorites]


I think the Slave Leia merch was horrible because in recent years it was so prevalent. It was rare-to-impossible to see merch of her in any other outfit/situation. It became the ONLY image. If we had more action figures of her in the Endor outfit or the Cloud City red/white combo, maybe the slave costume could have stayed. Because it did impress the 11 year old me when she killed Jabba with the chain.

But you can't change past marketing decisions, so this is a good move.
posted by kimberussell at 11:02 AM on November 5, 2015 [16 favorites]


YAAAAYYYY
That outfit never did anything for me.
Like I'm 100% guilty of shallow male gaze. Maybe more than 100%. But that outfit? Nah, man. It just looked awkward. And it bothers me that it has become so iconic when it's entirely the wrong choice. It's a statement on who the character ISN'T.
Bad Ass Bounty Hunter Leia or Forest Commando Leia or go home.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:03 AM on November 5, 2015 [27 favorites]


Bad Ass Bounty Hunter Leia or Forest Commando Leia or go home.

!
posted by Fizz at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the Slave Leia merch was horrible because in recent years it was so prevalent.

Yeah, it seems like everyone is doing Slave Leia look, while Spy Leia, Commander Leia, Diplomat Leia, and Commando Leia are ignored.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:09 AM on November 5, 2015 [17 favorites]


Hmm.... works with the Jabba Laugh.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2015


In preparation for the sequel, I showed the original trilogy to my 5 year old. He made no comment on Leia's bikini, but thought it was pretty impressive when she strangled Jabba with the chain. He's very, very in to Bad Guys getting their comeuppance.

A few weeks later, he saw a commercial with a woman in a bikini and asked in all seriousness, "Where's her chain?"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2015 [121 favorites]


Slayer Leia

In every generation, in every galaxy far, far away, there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness.
posted by thivaia at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2015 [17 favorites]


Commando Leia

I missed any scenes involving Leia where she's obviously not wearing underwear.... and I've seen that original trilogy hundreds of times.
posted by hippybear at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hot toys has this amazing figure of Leia in her original white shift and cinnamon buns look. Anyone got $200 bucks they're not using?
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think I've told this story here before but a friend of mine was working at San Diego Comic-Con one year and was browsing through booths on her break. She realized the booth she was at had a large (presumably [hopefully] one of a kind) Slave Leia statue on a rotating pedestal, and that none other than Carrie Fischer herself was standing there eyeing it skeptically. As it rotates around, both she and my friend realize that the statue is, shall we say, unexpectedly anatomically detailed. Fischer rounds on the cringing booth owner and furiously proclaims, "I don't recall licensing you to SCULPT MY SNATCH!"
(I confess I was somewhat doubtful about this story until it later turned up in Fischer's autobiography.)
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2015 [93 favorites]


Oh god, the fanboys who routinely lose their shit on Twitter for any perceived slight on their precious childhood memories must be apoplectic.

And so it begins.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I missed any scenes involving Leia where she's not wearing underwear.... and I've seen that original trilogy hundreds of times.

She wasn't wearing a bra under her Episode 4 dress.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2015


Jumping off my earlier point. I'm conflicted, because this is an obvious opportunity to scoop up some cheap Slave Leia Lego minifigs to resell for later, but I'm concerned this might make me a slave trader.
posted by FJT at 11:15 AM on November 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


It will be interesting seeing how this ripples through the cosplaying community, considering how Slave Leia has been mashed up with other characters such as Disney Princesses.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:17 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


She wasn't wearing a bra under her Episode 4 dress.

I'm not well versed in female undergarment culture. Is not wearing a bra considered "going commando" by women?
posted by hippybear at 11:20 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Leia was always Commando Leia.
"I had to tape them down, because there's no underwear in space. George knows that for a fact."
posted by Etrigan at 11:22 AM on November 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


I don't think it will have much of an effect on fanwork or cosplay, which has always gone above and beyond what you could get at Toys R. Us or the overpriced collectibles.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:24 AM on November 5, 2015


It just means that kids will experience the joy of getting their shampoo from a decapitated Cinnamon Bun Leia.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:27 AM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I assume this is like taking the classic Disney cartoons out of circulation for years at a time, to increase demand when they have "special limited re-issues" of stuff.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:27 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


My only concern is that it's not going to be replaced with merch of Leia in other outfits. I'm not sure which is worse, only Slave Leia merch or no Leia merch at all.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Diplomat Leia

I think you mean part-of-the-rebel-alliance-and-a-traitor Leia.
posted by 7segment at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2015 [26 favorites]


There's no underwear in space. Everybody knows that.
posted by George Lucas at 11:33 AM on November 5, 2015 [63 favorites]


Disney just announced a deal for branded prosthetics, which is alternately very cool and very creepy. There will be merchandise. There is already merchandise. If Abrams doesn't screw it up, Star Wars will be on every supermarket aisle.

Including the meat department.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:39 AM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Including the meat department.

CHEWIE!!?!!!
posted by eriko at 11:42 AM on November 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Tauntaun sausages.
posted by nubs at 11:42 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


In her autobiographical stage show Wishful Drinking, Fisher once made an acerbic attack on a Leia figurine she once received that seemed a little too revealing. “I told George, ‘You have the rights to my face,’” she said. “You do not have the rights to my 'lagoon of mystery!'’”
I love Carrie Fisher.


She is the Queen of Crone Island. All hail.
posted by emjaybee at 11:43 AM on November 5, 2015 [38 favorites]


I first heard about this last night when a woman I'm acquainted with posted an article to Facebook with the comment "Oh boy, I can't wait to wear my new MooMoo Leia outfit! Ridiculous. People need to unclench."

I felt like commenting on her post to point out that when you start saying stupid shit about other people being outraged, you've sort of lost that moral high road of not being outraged yourself... also it's spelled muumuu, and stop being such a dumb asshole. But then I was like... no, dumb assholes never manage to dial it down when they're expressing outrage over not being able to buy more plastic merchandise that is tacky and gross.

That unfollow option really does come in handy, though.
posted by palomar at 11:46 AM on November 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Tauntaun sausages.

Those are difficult to market, because if you only think they smell bad on the outside...
posted by hippybear at 11:49 AM on November 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


Including the meat department.

And I thought it smelled bad on the outside!
posted by davros42 at 11:51 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


If Abrams doesn't screw it up, Star Wars will be on every supermarket aisle.

I think it already is.
posted by el io at 11:53 AM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tauntaun Sausages: Climb Inside the Flavor
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:54 AM on November 5, 2015 [42 favorites]


Including the meat department.

Darth Vader is people.
posted by Fizz at 11:56 AM on November 5, 2015


Anyone who's ever seen Carrie Fisher's stage show knows there is no underwear in space.

The more I learn, the more squicked I am by the way she was treated in the original trilogy. Even the Leia/Han relationship is a little unsettling to me, given that she was what, 18 or 19 when the series started? And Ford was well into his 30s. (Yeah, the power differential was probably in Leia's favor, but not in Fisher's favor. I'm sure Lucas would have recast her if she'd complained much.)
posted by suelac at 12:03 PM on November 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


Tauntaun Sausages: Climb Inside the Flavor

Tauntaun Sausages: The Pig In a Blanket is You
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:04 PM on November 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


> It never even occurred to me that he put her in the bikini for himself.

I do not want to find out, let alone see any pix of or read any fanfic about, what does turn Jabba on.
posted by jfuller at 12:06 PM on November 5, 2015


Some other product ideas:

-Sarlacc Slow Cooker
-Always a Bigger Fish Sticks
-Prequel Wine
-Womp Rat BBQ Skewers
-Tosche Station Power Converter Energy Drink
posted by nubs at 12:07 PM on November 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


I know this won't go over well here but....This is another reason why it's a shame to see Star Wars retrofitted into G- rated franchise. It wasn't meant to be solely a kids movie. The gravity has been sucked out of it just so they can market it to younger and younger kids.
I understand the issue of depicting a female character as a bikini clad slave, and I don't support that kinda thing, but the movie was made 32 years ago, was anyone truly upset about this before?
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:15 PM on November 5, 2015


I do not want to find out, let alone see any pix of or read any fanfic about, what does turn Jabba on.

Rule 34 compels you to the Googles.
posted by hippybear at 12:15 PM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some other product ideas:

Thinkgeek actually has a Death Star waffle-maker.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:17 PM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mon Calamari Rings....It's a trap!
posted by kokaku at 12:18 PM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]




Tauntaun Sausages: Smell Worse on the Inside
posted by cottoncandybeard at 12:21 PM on November 5, 2015


It still won't burn the memory of the slave leia dog costume of internet fame that used to make me go Holy Shit bad merchandising Mr. Lucas!
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:24 PM on November 5, 2015


The trouble with tauntaun sausages?

No matter how you cook them, they're always Luke-warm.
posted by mikurski at 12:25 PM on November 5, 2015 [57 favorites]


I understand the issue of depicting a female character as a bikini clad slave, and I don't support that kinda thing, but the movie was made 32 years ago, was anyone truly upset about this before?

Yes. I was a kid when I first saw it, and it wasn't the sexy that bothered me, it was seeing my Lone Representative of My Gender, who also happened to have proven herself a badass, (a rare thing!) get degraded for yuks.

You may not know this, but until very recently, if you were a girl who admired a girl character in a media property, you also repeatedly experienced the sinking, shaming sensation of seeing your hero turned into a tits n' ass parade at some point, or otherwise having her female status used to make her Less Heroic than male characters.

Has Captain America yet had his turn onscreen in nothing but a chainmail banana-hammock and fetters, being slobbered over by a repugnant slavemaster who appears to want to rape him, until a fully-clothed group of female heroes rescues him? No. And outside of fanfic, he won't, because it's upsetting for men to see their heroes treated that way.

It's not about prudery.
posted by emjaybee at 12:27 PM on November 5, 2015 [183 favorites]


CBrachyrhynchos: If Abrams doesn't screw it up, Star Wars will be on every supermarket aisle.

Actually, last week my wife & I were talking about how Target has all their Star Wars school supplies and other stuff on clearance end-caps right now, and it's still like six or eight week until the movie even opens!
posted by wenestvedt at 12:30 PM on November 5, 2015


If I remember right, there's a few shots of Jabba leering or groping Leia and her predecessor.

It's not so much a matter of bowdlerizing Star Wars, as getting some distance to one of the most overworked cliches within the fandom. Not that I think that the abundance of fan-generated Slave Leias are at all limited by what Disney nee Lucasfilm puts on Legos, Sugar Bombs, and dandruff shampoo. But from a marketing perspective, it doesn't make sense for Disney to let a 30-year-old meme overshadow their attempt to jump start the franchise.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mon Calamari Rings....It's a trap!

Didn't This Imperial Life do a whole episode about how those were actually made of Gammorean bungs?
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:32 PM on November 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


Fresh Jar in a jar.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:33 PM on November 5, 2015


I was a twelve year old male when ROTJ came out, so right in the demographic for whom the bikini provoked some feelings. But I also remember being confused, because until that moment Leia had not been an object of desire, but rather a tough, capable member of the group who took charge and was a leader. Han and Luke might have been pursuing her, romantically, but I never got a really sexualized vibe from that (though the Han/Leia stuff in ESB is problematic in terms of relationship dynamics, but that's something I didn't see until I was much later and older). The whole thing just felt out of place then, and it still does today.
posted by nubs at 12:36 PM on November 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


You may not know this, but until very recently, if you were a girl who admired a girl character in a media property, you also repeatedly experienced the sinking, shaming sensation of seeing your hero turned into a tits n' ass parade at some point, or otherwise having her female status used to make her Less Heroic than male characters.

That's a good point. I get it.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:38 PM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I understand the issue of depicting a female character as a bikini clad slave, and I don't support that kinda thing, but the movie was made 32 years ago, was anyone truly upset about this before?

I will add to the chorus of "yes, it upset me before". Star Wars was the very first thing I remember doing with my Dad, just my Dad that indicated we had things in common. I was 6, maybe (FYI, I'm a woman). It was an amazing thing, to be a small child and realize in a very small way that your parent is a person like your friends at school. The only movies I remember going to see with my Dad are the Star Wars movies. My parents bought us so many of the action figures (two full sets, ultimately, because they suggested we might leave the first set behind at our poor country mice cousins' house because we had so much and they had much less).

So, Star Wars, super important in a lot of life lessons for me.

And glaring there in the middle of it: Princess Leia has to be mostly naked and a sex slave (I was, what, 12? and oh yes, I very well knew the implications of mostly naked women chained to things in front of an audience of men) . It was great that she saved herself and even more badass that she saved Han (for the record, don't get me started on the bullshit narrative that she married Han Solo for babies or even put up with his handsome sorry ass for longer than a good time), but still it was a kick in the pre-pubescent teeth that she had to be first shown to be supah sexxah because there had been too much competence, too much practical clothing, too much just amazingly appealing and kicking ass Leia without reminding us she was a sex object first.

All the Star Wars stuff my parents ever bought me? Not one gold bikini bullshit Leia. They never said anything about it. Maybe they never thought about it. But I had fourth-tier background character action figures, but no slave Leia.

So there, another super important lesson from Star Wars growing up as me: (1) even the best characters have to do their time as jiggling objects of male desire and (2) your parents are not going to make you play with with toys that depict that unpleasant reality.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:41 PM on November 5, 2015 [25 favorites]


Wow. Now I'm all giddy at the (completely unrealistic) thought of Disney taking another CGI pass through the original trilogy and putting Leia in a more dignified outfit when she's Jabba's prisoner (maybe just leaving her in the bounty-hunter clothes she wore when she barged in). The fanrage would be SPECTACULAR.
posted by straight at 12:43 PM on November 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I do not want to find out, let alone see any pix of or read any fanfic about, what does turn Jabba on.

Hutts are hermaphrodites. Once a Hutt has located a mate, they ooze around each other and Midi-chlorians are exchanged through the protruded Hutt saber of whoever shoots first. A few days later, the pregnant Hutt lays around thirty eggsacks in a great pit in the ground, or beneath the cover of an object such as a fallen Tauntaun.

Apophallation has been rumored in some Hutts, in which the Hutt saber is trapped inside the body of the partner. Apophallation allows the Hutt to separate themselves by slicing off the offending genitalia. Once the Hutt saber has been lost, Hutts are still able to mate using only robotic prostheses and the force.

Accordingly, Jabba is on record as being an interrogation droid fetishist.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:47 PM on November 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


The bikini is what made me assume, as a tiny girl child, that Star Wars was for boys. Because why would they make a big point of putting the tough kickass girl in a sexy costume and have her in chains and needing to be rescued by men if they wanted girls to watch and enjoy?
posted by palomar at 12:48 PM on November 5, 2015 [20 favorites]


was anyone truly upset about this before?

Chiming in to agree with others that Slave Leia was always super obviously a gratuitous sexification thing, inconsistent with and pointlessly degrading to her character, even when I was a kid. Like, a "why?" thing. I would have thought this was pretty obvious? Yes we put up with gross things in life, and not every gross thing gets changed over time, and as adult Star Wars fans we put up with "haw haw Slave Leia metal bikini" as a common reference. But the fact that we live with it doesn't make it less gross.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:55 PM on November 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


was anyone truly upset about this before?

In 1983, anyone who was visibly upset about it was ignored or patted on the head, so a generation of girls learned to just grit their teeth and roll their eyes and maybe complain about it to their moms but not so much on the playgrounds.
posted by Etrigan at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2015 [28 favorites]


Good. I wonder if this was something Fisher requested as a condition to return. This effectively removes Slave Leia from the $9.99 trinket aisle now, even if they later on decide to issue Fisher-approved exceptions to the high end collectible market.
That said, I agree with Fisher that the ep4 white gown was shapeless and unremarkable (particularly when compared to the other leads, and some of her later outfits), but I'm pretty sure dressing like galactic RedSonja wasn't what she was asking for. And certainly not have her character reduced to a 15 minute bit in the middle of the trilogy forever.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:10 PM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Liquidwolf: "I understand the issue of depicting a female character as a bikini clad slave, and I don't support that kinda thing, but the movie was made 32 years ago, was anyone truly upset about this before?"

Yes, but they were only unimportant people like women.
posted by scrump at 1:11 PM on November 5, 2015 [34 favorites]


Good. I wonder if this was something Fisher requested as a condition to return.

I highly doubt it. Seems more likely a natural result of Disney acquiring the franchise.
posted by Justinian at 1:15 PM on November 5, 2015


Actually, last week my wife & I were talking about how Target has all their Star Wars school supplies and other stuff on clearance end-caps right now, and it's still like six or eight week until the movie even opens!

It's on clearance because it's back to school items, not because it's Star Wars. That said, the only things that seem to be selling really well where I work are the 3.75" figures, Black Series figs and anything BB-8 themed.
posted by drezdn at 1:18 PM on November 5, 2015


"I understand the issue of depicting a female character as a bikini clad slave, and I don't support that kinda thing, but the movie was made 32 years ago, was anyone truly upset about this before?"

Honestly? No. I was 10-going-on-11 when it was released and kind of already brainwashed by Charlie's Angels and such into thinking sometimes the kick-ass women wear bikinis and ladies always fall into peril. Mom was thrilled that there was a woman kicking butt for a majority of the time she was on the screen. But over the years my mind and mouth got bigger and happily we as a society are starting to slowly coming around to the idea that ... yeah, that scene didn't have to go down like that.
posted by kimberussell at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hutt to separate themselves by slicing off the offending genitalia.

I got a bad feeling about bris.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:06 PM on November 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


Thirding the idea that it was the extreme dominance of the image that became a problem. It was never my cup of tea, but it was clear that there were substantial numbers of other women who enjoyed dressing up in the outfit. And it did kind of fit into the third wave feminism thing of "I can be supersexy and wear skimpy clothes and still be a feminist and badass". But when it's the only thing you see cosplayed, and shows up in every media, and on and on... yeah, glad to have it gone.
posted by tavella at 2:11 PM on November 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hutt to separate themselves by slicing off the offending genitalia.

I got a bad feeling about bris.


I felt a great disturbance in the foreskin.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:12 PM on November 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Seems more likely a natural result of Disney acquiring the franchise.

Shorter SlaveLeia outrage: "This deal is getting worse all the time"
posted by nubs at 2:13 PM on November 5, 2015


mikurski, that was fantastic. The best worst joke ever.
posted by JDHarper at 2:15 PM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I know this won't go over well here but....This is another reason why it's a shame to see Star Wars retrofitted into G- rated franchise. It wasn't meant to be solely a kids movie. The gravity has been sucked out of it just so they can market it to younger and younger kids.

I know you've been responded to, but I think it bears pointing out that the notion that Star Wars has somehow degraded into a G rating is absurd.

The original Star Wars is barely PG. I kid you not, the only reason it wasn't rated G is because of the scene where the audience sees Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's charred remains -- and that scene was quite literally filmed that way on purpose to secure a PG rating (because they didn't want to get a G rating and be seen as a kids movie). The rest of the original trilogy does not stray far from this, and is solidly on the lower end of PG. Star Wars was always, from the start, an all-audiences series.

In the meantime, the prequels have, if anything, amped up the violence -- to the point where I'm of the opinion that Revenge of the Sith probably should have been rated R (but got a courtesy PG-13, much like how James Bond movies do).

If anything should be complained about, it should be how the later movies have repeatedly increased the level of unnecessary violence just to seem more shocking or cool.
posted by tocts at 2:31 PM on November 5, 2015


> Hutts are h...

With all due respect, IRFH, my eyeballs lept right over your comment all by themselves. My fanfic detection antenna includes some truly bleeding edge technology. (me 'n' mah solderin' iron breadboarded it ourselves to deal with goatse after the first instance. There has never been a second.)

So is Disney going to make any attempt to go after the Halloween sexy-slave-Leia costumes? In one respect it should be a piece of cake for the D legal hit squad--none of those costumes can possibly be licensed, they're all copyright violations from the git-go. OTOH they all appear as if by magic in Halloween costume stores that were, as of a week before Halloween, empty storefronts in dying strip malls, and will be back to being the same the day after. Clearly all this and similar shite (sexy cheerleading nurse with a drink tray, sexy Elisabeth Warren, sexy Hannah Arendt et al.) are being smuggled in superluminally through the purple dimension by agents of the Hutt organization. Which may make problems for Disney if they've got no clue where (a galaxy far, far away) and when (long ago) to send the cease-and-desist letters. This is immovable-object-irresistable-force territory and it will be very interesting to see how it plays out.
posted by jfuller at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but Lucas has been defanging the OT, so... (scroll down to the Death Star blaster scenes)

I can't wait for the prequel trilogy reboot.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've started watching Star Wars with GirlChild - she's six, and excruciatingly empathic. To the point in Episode 4, she decided Han was an asshole because Leia is much more capable and instead of working with her, he was being an idiot. To quote "Leia and Luke are a much better team". I'm unhappy with having to show her the way female characters do get reduced to slobbered over sex slaves at some point in nearly any narrative, even if this is also the kid who wants a bikini and a crop top. It isn't just about the costume, it's about the overarching aggressive sexualisation of a competent character in such a way that objectifies her. I'll be interested to see what GirlChild has to say though.

And its also the way the fandom narrowed in and down to that. I mean, its not a surprise by any means, but it adds to the misogyny.
posted by geek anachronism at 3:03 PM on November 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was 9 when I saw Star Wars in the theater, on its initial release. Carrie Fisher is the same age and looks a lot like my mom, I did not like the outfit AT ALL.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 3:42 PM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


The original Star Wars is barely PG. I kid you not, the only reason it wasn't rated G is because of the scene where the audience sees Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's charred remains -- and that scene was quite literally filmed that way on purpose to secure a PG rating (because they didn't want to get a G rating and be seen as a kids movie). The rest of the original trilogy does not stray far from this, and is solidly on the lower end of PG. Star Wars was always, from the start, an all-audiences series.


I don't think that's correct. There's also the scene where Obi cuts of the guy's arm in the bar, where Vader strangles the other Imperial guy, plus numerous other scenes that are too weird or intense for a G rating. I'm not convinced it was made for children.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:36 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Don't worry, fans, we're tripling the incest!"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:12 PM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


In the 1970's "G" did not mean "suitable for children". It meant "suitable for the most general audience", meaning it was likely to upset or offend almost no-one with swearing, nudity, gore or other things. It started as a lowest common denominator indicator, not a safe parenting indicator. Advertising and reviews and which movie theatre showed the film at what times of day indicated whether it was a kid's movie or not. All sorts of movies were rated G that you would not think of as "kids' movies" at the time they were made. (e.g., Planet of the Apes, The Odd Couple, Funny Girl, 2001: A Space Odyssey)

When the MPAA instituted the film rating system in 1968, the four ratings were G (for general audiences), M (for mature audiences), R (restricted, if you were under 16, you had to be accompanied by a parent) and X (no one under 16 admitted). This changed rather quickly, with M becoming PG in 1972.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:23 PM on November 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


hippybear: "I missed any scenes involving Leia where she's obviously not wearing underwear.... and I've seen that original trilogy hundreds of times."

Maybe you were excluding the slave Leia outift but; The slave Leia scenes.
posted by Mitheral at 5:26 PM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Return of the Jedi costume designer Aggie Guerard Rodgers told me the bikini was a deliberate throwback to Dejah Thoris, the eponymous heroine of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Princess of Mars, as envisioned by artist Frank Frazetta in the 1960s; it has roots in science fiction history and Art Deco design.

I agree with the comments that the Slave Leia overrepresentation in the marketing, but the backstory of the costume is interesting (and certainly not something I picked up on when I saw the film as a kid).

I got a bad feeling about bris.

I always figured Jabba's resemblance to a foreskin was deliberate.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:30 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


crush-onastick: "In the 1970's "G" did not mean "suitable for children". It meant "suitable for the most general audience", meaning it was likely to upset or offend almost no-one with swearing, nudity, gore or other things."

I think you're right, but a minor quibble: I do think that it meant "suitable for children", because "children" are part of a general audience. What it didn't mean is aimed at children. So, for example, Citizen Kane is totally suitable for children, but it sure isn't a "kids movie".

I'm totally on-board with Star Wars being a G-rated movie series that is not a kids' movie series.
posted by Bugbread at 8:12 PM on November 5, 2015


I understand the issue of depicting a female character as a bikini clad slave, and I don't support that kinda thing, but the movie was made 32 years ago, was anyone truly upset about this before?

Add me to the list of girls who were under the age of 10 when they first saw the movie and felt bitterly sad when they saw that outfit. I remember going to the Episode II convention before its release, proudly dressed in a pretty baller custom Jedi outfit. I was 17. When I entered the convention I became acutely aware that I was dressed wrong--I was supposed to be dressed as a Twi'lek dancer, Slave Leia, or maybe braless Diplomat Leia, but definitely not in multilayered, baggy robes that completely covered up my body.

As a mostly-friendless nerd I'd been over the moon to go to the convention and meet other people who were like me. The experience of realizing that being a not-"fashionably"-dressed female ostracized me there just like everywhere else was pretty alienating.
posted by schroedinger at 9:37 PM on November 5, 2015 [13 favorites]


Can we also wipe out The Courtship of Princess Leia?

Dammit, I liked that book. Elementary-school Schroedinger was blown away by a book where:
  • A guy was sold off to a girl for marriage
  • There existed a badass matriarchial culture of Force-wielding Amazons who rode rancors (rancors!!!)
  • Fighting over a woman's hand in marriage was seen as chest-thumping macho bullshit
  • The woman (Leia) was totally competent and savvy and badass throughout, and her decisions and feelings were the most important factor in who she got married to.
Now, it's been probably two decades since I last read it. So my memory could be wrong and no doubt if I would be in Cringe City upon re-reading. But gosh, at the time I took away that maybe Star Wars was one of the few universes where women really could be as cool as dudes.
posted by schroedinger at 9:52 PM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I also enjoyed The Courtship of Princess Leia. The witches of Dathomir were scary badasses.

In other news, I can say this for Slave Leia: even while wearing next to nothing she could still strangle a fucking Hutt while ninety pounds soaking wet.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:20 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


A lot of the EU stuff was really, really bad if you compared it to truly highly regarded sci-fi or fantasy works. But it didn't matter for the most part because it gave those of us that grew up on Star Wars more of it to enjoy. Plus I had great entertainment discussing the books on Usenet. Ah the good ol' days.

I liked Zahn's stuff quite a bit actually. I remember very little about the Courtship of Princess Leia but I do recall a couple of the KJA books being particularly bad. I liked the dark tone of the Yuzzhan Vong invasion, I had hopes of that stuff staying canon because holy hell that would have some near-horror movie type potential. I still hope they branch out more in tone than it sounds like they are but I will not get my hopes up. It is Disney after all.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 12:45 AM on November 6, 2015


I really liked Zahn too. I loved the Thrawn trilogy. I was annoyed when he eventually hooked up of Mara Jade and Luke though. It always rang forced to me. I remember enjoying the Jedi Academy trilogy but getting bored of any of the long-running series involving the Jedi Academy pretty quick, especially the stuff involving the kids.

I quit my obsessive consumption of EU novels around the Yuuzahn Vong stuff. Partly because the Force-blindness thing felt like a gimmick, mostly because I absolutely can't stand R.A. Salvatore's writing and he was headlining the series.
posted by schroedinger at 2:53 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a kid the idea that a giant slug creature wanted to see scantily clad human women seemed incredibly weird.

Usually, it's not until you pass puberty that your giant slug creature wants to see scantily clad human women.
posted by fairmettle at 3:09 AM on November 6, 2015


The Thrawn trilogy thrilled me on a deeply visceral level. That's as far as I got into any of the EU stuff except for the original novels like Splinter Of The Mind's Eye and stuff of that era. But those three books were great. Reading them was like watching new SW movies.
posted by hippybear at 3:11 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Don't worry, fans, we're tripling the incest!"

"Enough to make even Targaryens blush!"
posted by drezdn at 4:19 AM on November 6, 2015


Leia was forced to wear that outfit and she killed the fucker who made her do it. That's what I took from it. Princess Leia was always in control, even when she was forced into that stupid bikini. It never occurred to me that she wouldn't find her way out of it. And she did, and so should you and everyone else. Shit like this happens, you can't just pretend it didn't happen. She was forced into a ridiculous bikini and she killed the fucker that did it to her, that's the story!
posted by h00py at 4:57 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


She was forced into a ridiculous bikini and she killed the fucker that did it to her, that's the story!

Count all the slave-bikini-Leia merch and cosplaying. Count all the slave-bikini-Leia-killing-the-fucker merch and cosplaying. I'd wager that the ratio of the two involves a high-double-digit number, and not in the good way.

The slave bikini has taken on a bad life of its own even if one reads the original text exactly the way you did, which a lot of people right here in this very thread are saying they didn't.
posted by Etrigan at 5:24 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, I guess what I'm saying is that you can't stuff the genii (or the slave bikini) back into the bottle. But what you can do is try and make people understand what the bikini was about (enslavement, not titillation) and take things from there.

Personally, I think it's better to continue to talk about the slave bikini and what it really represented, rather than just pretend that it didn't happen.
posted by h00py at 5:52 AM on November 6, 2015


The Courtship of Princess Leia wasn't *all* bad, no. But I still wrinkle my nose when they're dealing out character plots and the lone major female character gets "But who is she gonna maaaaaaarrrrrryyyyy?"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:03 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Personally, I think it's better to continue to talk about the slave bikini and what it really represented, rather than just pretend that it didn't happen.

There's a wide gulf between "pretend that it didn't happen" and "stop making money off of a portrayal that a lot of people find problematic, especially when said money is being made while almost totally divorced from the non-titillation context".
posted by Etrigan at 6:06 AM on November 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh yes, I'm all in favour of not encouraging disgusting marketing, that's for sure. Nevertheless, the image is out there so let's continue to talk about it AND discourage making it an image to be monetised. Advertising is out of control, the best thing we can do is make the slave bikini something to be scoffed at, and here's the reason why etc.
posted by h00py at 6:16 AM on November 6, 2015




what you can do is try and make people understand what the bikini was about (enslavement, not titillation)

What do you mean, "what the bikini was about"? Do you have a direct line to the true meaning of the scene?

I'm glad that you were able to read something so positive from it, while not seeing the negative, but to me it is glaringly obvious that titillation was a major part of the scene. That Leia is a badass who killed her captor is great, but it doesn't take away the fact that she was sexually degraded first. A lot of girls--women, now--are tired of this happening to their female heroes. They're tired of the focus on sexual appeal, and they're tired of sexual degradation being the go-to way to bring a female character low.

The bikini was a stupid choice made by people living in a deeply sexist society. Sadly.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:14 AM on November 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


h00py: "But what you can do is try and make people understand what the bikini was about (enslavement, not titillation) and take things from there. "

Exactly. Think about other movies about slavery. 12 Years a Slave. Amistad. Roots. What do they all have in common? Bikinis.
posted by Bugbread at 7:28 AM on November 6, 2015 [20 favorites]


As a kid the idea that a giant slug creature wanted to see scantily clad human women seemed incredibly weird.

It never even occurred to me that he put her in the bikini for himself. He's a mob boss who runs weapons and nightclubs, so I always figured his plans for Leia were to sell her to the highest bidder, either for food, or for sex, or for both, but the costume primarily for the latter. Being gross at her before the bidding begins is just the regular mob boss schtick.

(So basically, Leia is temporarily Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken. Except Liam Neeson is also Qui-Gon?)


I didn't think of it as either. I always saw it as a power play. It was Jabba's way of saying, "Here's the most kick ass woman in the galaxy and I've turned her into an accessory." Yes, the outfit was demeaning, but it supposed to be. It was a status symbol like not thawing out the galaxy's most famous smuggler and instead leaving him tacked to the wall as a warning of what happens when you cross the boss.
posted by dances with hamsters at 7:34 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The bikini was a stupid choice made by people living in a deeply sexist society. Sadly.

If anyone really needs more evidence of this, consider the story conference that happened in 1978 between George Lucas (the producer of ESB), Stephen Spielberg, and Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote the final the screenplay for ESB). They were discussing a little movie called Raiders of the Lost Ark, and specifically how the female lead (Marion) would relate to the male lead (Indiana Jones). More details here, but a telling excerpt, after Kasdan suggests that Indy and Marion have a pre-existing relationship:
George Lucas — I was thinking that [Marion's father] could have been [Indy's] mentor. [Indy] could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.

Lawrence Kasdan — And he was forty-two.

George Lucas — He hasn't seen her in twelve years. Now she's twenty-two. It's a real strange relationship.

Stephen Spielberg — She had better be older than twenty-two.

George Lucas — He's thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve. It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.

Stephen Spielberg — And promiscuous. She came onto him.

George Lucas — Fifteen is right on the edge. I know it's an outrageous idea, but it is interesting. Once she's sixteen or seventeen it's not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with him and he...

Stephen Spielberg — She has pictures of him.

This is basically the same people making decisions about the depictions of Leia in ESB (minus Spielberg in an official capacity, though he and Lucas have had a long history of collaboration, on or off the books). The obvious influence of Frazetta, as well, makes it pretty clear why anyone thought it was a great idea to stick Leia in such a revealing costume, and it has nothing to do with her empowerment.
posted by tocts at 7:45 AM on November 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


Poor Rancor keeper, nobody worries about him.

I remember feeling really bad for the ol' Rancor Keeper. Someone basically just killed his dog!
posted by brand-gnu at 8:17 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


It never occurred to me that she wouldn't find her way out of it. And she did, and so should you and everyone else.

Exactly. She got out of that bikini as soon as she could, but the toymakers and cosplayers keep wanting to stuff her right back into it.
posted by straight at 8:35 AM on November 6, 2015 [16 favorites]


"It never even occurred to me that he put her in the bikini for himself. He's a mob boss who runs weapons and nightclubs, so I always figured his plans for Leia were to sell her to the highest bidder, either for food, or for sex, or for both, but the costume primarily for the latter. Being gross at her before the bidding begins is just the regular mob boss schtick." a fiendish thingy

As I read this the first few times, I thought the "he" was George Lucas. I need more caffeine today.
posted by narancia at 8:54 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


It all comes down to marketing, and the fact that Disney needs to sell:

1. A sequel in which Leia is a supporting elder character.
2. A theme park.

None of that is going to stop Rule 34 or cosplay.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:36 AM on November 6, 2015


The bikini was a stupid choice made by people living in a deeply sexist society. Sadly.

Yes, it was. I'm sorry, did you think I was defending the bikini? I don't have a direct line to anything other than my own point of view. If I could rid the world of sexism and sexual violence I'd do it in a heartbeat but I can't and neither can you or anyone else because it's here and it's always been here and it will continue to be here until people decide that it's completely unacceptable, and even then it won't wipe out all the past examples of it in popular culture.

All I'm saying is that denying the evidence of our deeply sexist society doesn't make it go away. We need to continue talking about it and making it clear to people how it manifests itself, in a bikini in Star Wars or a rape scene in Game of Thrones or any of a million other examples.

Exactly. Think about other movies about slavery. 12 Years a Slave. Amistad. Roots. What do they all have in common? Bikinis.

I suppose you think you're very funny, Harold. There's more than one kind of slavery.
posted by h00py at 9:56 AM on November 6, 2015


No one is denying it by stopping it. I don't understand your argument. This is a step in the right direction. Merchandise still exists with the slave costume. Nothing new will be made. What has changed? What is wrong and cowardly about this? This IS taking a stand and saying that going forward, this is unacceptable. All I see is men complaining that this isn't big deal while women talk about how it has bothered them. I'm happy about this change. Always been a blot on the movie but at least there will be less merch promoting that blot. (Edited to add I believe you are a woman from your profile - but I see a lot of men complaining too).
posted by agregoli at 10:05 AM on November 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


You are basically saying we should continue using sexist imagery to accurately reflect our sexist society. That's a bizarre way to change the system.
posted by agregoli at 10:06 AM on November 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Unless I've missed something, the bikini scenes from ROTJ aren't being retroactively painted/CGI'd - those moments will still exist in the story. What Disney is doing is basically saying that the costume of that moment is not going to be available; it is not a thing to merchandise about the character of Princess Leia. Which helps, and perhaps reinforces the point that this moment is something that was done to Leia by a villain and therefore not something to aspire to.

That being said, I'm sure that there will be legions of cos-players who have and will continue to make this costume for cons or for their own personal reasons (Hell, one of the cons local to me was noted for years for having a couple that would come to the "slave" auction fundraiser part of the event with her wearing a SlaveLeia costume, and he would always win the bidding when she was the one up for bids. It was obviously a bit of a thing for them, and I found it a little squicky to have it be part of a public event like that, but hey, beyond the costume and the bidding at the event, nothing else happened in public; so in general, kink on if it's your thing, I guess). It's just that there won't be an official one anymore, and the Star Wars merchandise machine won't be pulling in cash from an objectifying moment in the films.
posted by nubs at 10:17 AM on November 6, 2015


I'm not saying anything of the kind. All I've said is that you can't whitewash what's happened in the past and that I thought the bikini represented more than just sexy Leia. I said nothing about the future ban on merchandising Slave Leia being cowardly or wrong so I'm kind of bemused by that particular statement. And yes, I am a woman, and one who despises sexism moreover, so I really don't think we're on different sides of the fence here.
posted by h00py at 10:31 AM on November 6, 2015


h00py, since so many people are misunderstanding you, apparently, and you're not saying what we think you're saying -- I'm going to suggest that perhaps you haven't been clear. And it's still not clear what the purpose of those comments is.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:53 AM on November 6, 2015


How is it whitewashing the past? The past still exists. That's why I'm not following you.
posted by agregoli at 1:02 PM on November 6, 2015


When I first saw Jedi in the theater* I (straight cis 12 year old boy nursing a starter crush on Leia/Carrie Fisher) was pretty horrified by the whole slave Leia thing - she's put into this ridiculous, intentionally demeaning, getup and (presumably) made to dance and get licked by a hutt, and it's all pretty gross but I assumed (as much as I thought about it) that I was supposed to be horrified by it. The thrill of the visible skin was in there, perhaps, but it doesn't take any thought at all to see it as a frightening, nasty situation. Even as a 12 year old.

It wasn't until much much later that the meme of "Oooh! Hot Leia chained up in a bikini!" started rolling around, and it turned into a Thing. I feel like Ross was the first I heard that and it spread from there, but who knows. Anyway, point being, I suspect the Thing of it has become much bigger than any actual rootstock "hot slave Leia" sentiment. I'm happy to see it de-emphasized, happy to see the knuckleheads getting all het up over its retirement, and STILL happy to defend it, to some degree, in the film. Basically everything that happens to every character in RotJ, up until R2 ejects the lightsaber, is peril and dismay, and played as such.

*Me and Derek skipped school and saw it on the big screen at the old Loews/Showcase in downtown Worcester, MA, the Thursday after it opened, and man it was great. When we went back to school on Friday we were the coolest kids in school. Briefly.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:51 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyway, point being, I suspect the Thing of it has become much bigger than any actual rootstock "hot slave Leia" sentiment.

I don't even entirely disagree with you, though there are certainly women in this thread that have expressed their own reactions to seeing this when it was released, and being really negatively affected by the objectification of Leia. It definitely has become more and more of a thing since the release. I also think that it has been toned down, even just a little bit, in the past few years within cosplay circles -- Disney's movement in this case may actually be following a trend already started in the fandom itself.

That being said, I'm excited to see Disney making an official move (hopefully) in this direction, and here's why:

Literally just a few days ago, I was sitting on my porch for Halloween, giving out candy. One of my favorite costumes of the night was a little girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old, dressed as Leia (Ep IV "Diplomat Leia"). She clearly loved her costume, and was basically exuding: I'm Princess Leia, I kick butt, and my hair buns rule! -- and that is totally awesome. And it is super, super frustrating to me that if that little girl went to any convention in the last 15-20 years, and someone was like "oh hey, this artist does awesome custom Leia stuff!" or "check out that Princess Leia costume!", the likelihood of her encountering the Leia that she aspired to emulate would be very low.

So, while I'm not at all asking anything to be modified in the movies (seriously, Despecialized Editions for life), I am completely behind the rights owners saying: "you know what, this is not an aspect of this character we should be emphasizing in our marketing or merchandise". If people want to homebuild costumes of Slave Leia, hey, that's their thing, and more power to them, but the default version of Leia in the public eye should not be "Leia at her most degraded, and most put-upon".
posted by tocts at 2:23 PM on November 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's still going to be in the movie. It's just not going to be a "flagship" costume pasted on the Kellog's Jedi Sugar Bombs.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:23 PM on November 6, 2015


Yeah, h00py, add me to the list of people who don't really understand what you're trying to say. Or, rather, from what I can tell, the words you are saying are in 100% agreement with the prevailing opinion of the thread. You've stated that it's better to discuss the problems of the bikini, rather than pretend it never happened, and I think most people here agree. You've stated that you don't want to whitewash the past, which as far as I can tell nobody else does, either. You've stated that you are opposed to monetising the image, which most people here agree with. It sounds like you're agreeing with people, but somehow your phrasing is making it sound like disagreement, resulting in argument and confusion.

So from what I can tell, the discussion is kinda like:
A: "Oranges are delicious."
B: "No, oranges are delicious."
C: "What are you talking about, B? Oranges taste really good."
A: "Yeah, so good. You're crazy, B."
B: "Look, all I'm saying is that oranges are delicious."
posted by Bugbread at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2015


When I first saw Jedi in the theater* I (straight cis 12 year old boy nursing a starter crush on Leia/Carrie Fisher) was pretty horrified by the whole slave Leia thing - she's put into this ridiculous, intentionally demeaning, getup and (presumably) made to dance and get licked by a hutt, and it's all pretty gross but I assumed (as much as I thought about it) that I was supposed to be horrified by it. The thrill of the visible skin was in there, perhaps, but it doesn't take any thought at all to see it as a frightening, nasty situation. Even as a 12 year old.

That was literally my reaction at age 15.

But then, I had that same reaction to the posters being distributed by alcohol salesmen on college campus at age 19 or 20 which had three women in one-piece swimsuits with the syllables BUD-WIS-ER printed across their breasts. I couldn't understand why anyone would want that sort of blatant objectification in their dorm room, because it was so demeaning and obvious.

But then, I hadn't figured out I was gay at that point in my life either.
posted by hippybear at 4:02 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


And this is why I shouldn't voice an opinion after drinking too much beer. I feel like I'm in a Monty Python sketch. But it's all okay, I'm in the hangover stage and don't feel like arguing with people I agree with anymore *eats orange*
posted by h00py at 5:24 PM on November 6, 2015


Poor Rancor keeper, nobody worries about him.

One of many things I loved about the EU series was the "Tales from the [X]" books, where "X" is the Mos Eisley Cantina or Jabba's Palace or any of a number of locations with a diverse ensemble of characters. Each book was a collection of short stories about one of the characters. In the Jabba's Palace book the story of the rancor keeper (aka Malakili) was about as sweet and heartfelt as i could be. Poor Malakili. You just wanted to escape from Jabba with your rancor, and that meddling Jedi ruined all of it.
posted by schroedinger at 6:26 PM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not sure if I missed it, but if not, here is, the heartwarming tale of Rancor and Malakili (comic edition.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:50 PM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]






suelac: "Even the Leia/Han relationship is a little unsettling to me, given that she was what, 18 or 19 when the series started? And Ford was well into his 30s."

FWIW, Fisher was 19 when SW filming started, Ford was 33.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM on November 11, 2015




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