It’s one of the most iconic outfits in Star Wars, and sci-fi in general: The metal bikini Princess Leia is forced into by Jabba the Hutt during Return of the Jedi. But it’s not without controversy—and Disney may be making moves to remove the skimpy outfit from future Star Wars marketing and merchandise for good.
The rumor comes from Star Wars rumor-site Making Star Wars, which has made a name for itself in the past few years by becoming a source for spoilers and speculation surrounding the now-imminent The Force Awakens. The site claims that Disney is looking to phase out the “Slave” Leia look from any future marketing and toys, after the company and toy maker Hasbro came under fire for not just having a lack of female Star Wars toys in general, but also for the fact that the Star Wars Black Series line went for several years with just a single female figure in the roster. The fact that it was the scantily-clad Return of the Jedi Leia, rather than any of the several other outfits the Princess wore during the saga, drew even more ire than if there had been no female toys at all.
Usually, a rumor with a single source would be easily dispensable, and even then, it would be best to treat this as speculation in general. But an interesting twist in the tale came in the form of Facebook comments from Marvel comics artist J Scott Campbell, who recently claimed that there is a mandate to avoid the costume in the company’s depiction of Leia—and even, bizarrely, that artists are being advised to avoid depicting Leia in sexualized poses:
It adds a little further credence to the rumor, but it’s still not exactly solid.
It’d be a surprising, but positive move for Disney to make—it has had no qualms about the existence of the “Slave Leia” outfit being used promotionally or in merchandise since it acquired the franchise, and it’s appeared in toys, Lego, trading cards, comics, and more in that time. Why the sudden change? And with The Force Awakens so near, it’s not like merchandise and marketing would even be focusing on that particular era of Star Wars—it’ll be about Leia as she appears in the new films.
That said, it’d be great to see some Princess Leia merchandise that isn’t the “Slave” look. There’s not much around in the first place (although Disney is working on that), so seeing more of her other outfits in the toys—please release a Black Series Hoth Leia, please please please, Hasbro!—would be a welcome change. It’d be nice to get way more representation of one of Star Wars’ greatest heroes that don’t feature her in a metal bikini.
But for now, it’s best to treat this as nothing more than a rumor rather than a solid fact... although you might want to try and pick up one of those Black Series Leia figures, just in case.
[Via Making Star Wars]