Sideshow Collectibles’ line of “Premium Format” Star Wars statues is getting a new entry in the form of Alderaan’s most beloved princess, and io9 has an exclusive look at the full statue in all its rebel glory.
Based off Leia’s appearance in A New Hope, the statue was first revealed on April 20 in a Facebook Live interview with the late Carrie Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher. Here’s a look back at what he had to say about it:
The 1:4 scale statue shows the Rebel princess with blaster in hand, skulking about the smoky interiors of the Tantive IV during the Empire’s boarding of the ship. As well as including a complete fabric recreation of Leia’s outfit from the film, the figure comes with a base themed to the hallways of the Tantive IV that can be displayed alongside Sideshow’s R2-D2 and C-3PO Premium Format statues.
There’ll also be an exclusive version of the statue available directly from Sideshow that includes a bonus swap-out hand for Leia, to display her clutching the plans to the Death Star.
Check out a few more pictures of the statue below, as well as some insight from the team that helped bring her to life—sculptor Matt Black, painters Kat Sapene and Casey Love, and costume producer Tim Hanson—provided exclusively to io9:
io9: What did working on this piece mean to you?
Matt Black: What a huge honor! This was one of those once in a lifetime projects that both scares the hell out of you and that you really dream about.
Tim Hanson: It’s a tremendous honor! We were so excited to revisit our favorite princess, in her classic white dress. It’s our way of continuing a legacy, and being a small part of a character so beloved by the world is really beyond words.
Tell us briefly what your role was on this project.
Black: I was tasked with bringing this design to life in 3D. I worked closely with the design team, as well as the project manager to make sure we made this the best representation of that first moment you get to see Leia on screen being that powerful, snarky powerhouse that she is.
Kat Sapene: I painted the portrait for Princess Leia.
Casey Love: My role on this project was as a painter. I handled the base section specifically.
Hanson: The costume fabrication team (that’s me and my colleague Esther). My job was to bring that costume to life!
Any interesting anecdotes, challenges, or highlights from working on this project?
Black: Well, of course the portrait was going require the most attention. She has one of those classic, iconic faces that is so difficult to capture. I spent roughly three weeks working and re-working the face. I worked closely with Kat (head of the paint department) to really lock down her features. We did a few test prints that were painted just to see how well it was playing out in 3D. It’s always helpful to have extra eyes on a project like this, because everyone sees something else when they look at a person’s face. Bringing all those aspects together is a bit of a challenge.
Sapene: There was a lot of pressure to make this the best Leia figure out there. We test-printed and painted a couple of different Leia portraits before the sculpt was complete, and painted them to see if there was anything that could be adjusted to make the likeness even better. And to be honest, there really wasn’t much that I thought could be adjusted! Matt did a wonderful job really capturing the likeness of Carrie Fisher.
Love: It was a very challenging project because trying to match reference and color is always tricky with the older Star Wars films. The base was sculpted based on elements taken from the first film but it wasn’t from any specific set piece, so I was mostly working off of feeling—partially what I remember, and partially studying as much reference as I could find to best capture that mood and that scene.
Hanson: Right from the get-go, we knew our primary challenge was going to be finding the right type of fabric, of which we tested several! Coming from our previous Leia Premium Format Figure, we wanted to revisit this particular costume with a renewed sense of scale and patterning techniques. It may seem simple, but the draping, assembly, and structure of the dress is very intentional to mimic as close to the film as possible.
How does it feel to know Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother, was the first to see this sculpture “in the flesh”?
Black: When I saw this on Sideshow Live, it brought a tear of joy to my eye. This is what it’s all about.
Sapene: That is both amazing and terrifying! I hope he liked the portrait. I mean, as fans, we all idealize actors and have our own visions of what they “actually” look like. But I imagine family would see the figure very differently. I hope he felt our portrayal of his sister really captured her.
Love: It is a great feeling to know that Todd Fisher was the first to see it in person, and could appreciate the hard work and effort that we as a team put into this piece.
Hanson: We were ecstatic to know that Todd was the first to see the piece. Seeing and hearing his reaction meant so much, it’s one of those moments that really elevates working as an artist.
What does Leia mean to you?
Black: To me, she’s royalty.
Sapene: While I’ve always enjoyed the original Star Wars movies, I’ve never been a huge fanatic about them. Growing up, Leia wasn’t a character I looked up to. But seeing now the positive impact she’s had on so many women, it’s really made me see the character in a new way. I wanted to make sure that this portrait of Leia showed her as a strong and confident character. She’s not cowering behind a wall waiting for the bad guys, she’s coming to get them!
Hanson: Leia will always be a timeless character. Strong, fierce, immensely capable. She held her own against an Empire, and rose above as a leader. What an incredible role model for generations to come!
The Premium Format Princess Leia will be available to preorder from Sideshow on Star Wars Day—this Friday, May the 4th—between 9am and 12pm PT. Head on over to Sideshow Collectibles to RSVP for emails with more details about the figure when preorders go live.