By: Dominic Jones
One of the most controversial aspects of Star Wars may be on its way out. Our friend Jason Ward over at MakingStarWars.net is reporting that there are rumblings that Disney is planning on retiring the infamous Slave Leia outfit from future merchandising. This was compounded recently by a post by artist J Scott Campbell who stated that Marvel had already forbidden use of the Gold Bikini costume in their comics and covers. Campbell's comments seem to be a response to Carrie Fisher's interview with Daisy Ridley for Interview magazine and where she told the The Force Awakens star to "fight for your outfit" and "don't be a slave like I was."
The Slave Leia outfit has been the subject of a couple of "controversies" lately. The first was a father who complained about the 6 inch Black Series Leia being on sale at his local Toy Store. The second occurred when comedian Amy Schumer appeared on the cover of GQ wearing the bikini (the cover was not licensed by Lucasfilm).
While I would hate to think that Disney is responding to the controversy (especially the one about the toy, which was more a product of lazy reporting by a local news team and the father looking for his 15 minutes of fame), I can't say I'm too upset about the idea of the amount of slave Leia merchandise being decreased a bit (or a lot). I don't think a complete ban of the outfit is a good idea, it is an important part of Star Wars and should be represented in the merchandise. However, I do believe that our culture has lost largely the true meaning of the Slave Leia scenes in Return of the Jedi, which has led to an over representation of Slave Leia in merchandise.
I think it would be good move on Disney's part to scale back on the amount of Slave Leia merchandise to better represent the character and the amount of time she actually spends in the costume. With new Leia being in The Force Awakens and new Leia stories coming out in publishing all the time, the amount of time we see her in the bikini is decreasing and the merchandising should reflect that. Again, I'm not advocating for a complete ban just a scaling back on the amount of Slave Leia merchandise to better reflect the character and the amount of time she actually spends in that outfit.
All that being said, I don't expect the Slave Leia to be fully retired anytime soon. We may see a natural decrease in the amount of Slave Leia merchandise, but this could be due to the fact that there are new Leia stories that don't feature her in the gold bikini. Also, there's no real evidence yet to suggest that any of this is actually happening! May I remind you that Slave Leia was featured on this recent cover of Newsweek (see below), so it doesn't appear to be going anywhere for now.
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