It has been suggested on certain websites that a Philadelphia father of two daughters was “outraged” after seeing the toy version of Slave Leia while shopping at Target with his children in July. Even though Slave Leia has been around since 1983, and is therefore probably older than Dad in this case, Fred Hill claimed, “That’s pretty inappropriate. I got two daughters I don’t need seeing that crap.”
It is reported that Hill’s daughters asked why there was a chain around Princess Leia’s neck, to which he responded: “I don’t have any answers… I was just blown away looking at it.” Not blown away in a good way then?
To add fuel to the fire, a posting on Facebook by Marvel Comics cover artist J. Scott Campbell said that the Slave Leia outfit is on its way to retirement. “Disney is already well on it’s (sic) way to wiping out the “slave” outfit from any future products period. You will NOT see and future merchandising featuring the slave outfit ever again. Trust me […] I’ve heard it from two sources. We can’t even draw Leia in a sexy pose at Marvel, let alone in that outfit! We also had a 3-D [Slave Leia] statue killed at a major manufacturer because there will no longer be any [Slave Leia] merchandise.”Carrie Fisher, who played Leia in the original Star Wars movies, and will reprise her role in The Force Awakens this December spoke to Wall Street Journal about the kerfuffle, suggesting that banning the Princess Leia bikini merchandise is ‘stupid’ and that then father should tell his daughters that Leia was captured by a giant slug, that “forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.”
There’s been a global media frenzy about the original cast members returning to the franchise, and probably none more so than Carrie Fisher, who is now 58. She’s well aware that women have a sell by date in Hollywood (there was plenty of cruel speculation about her weight and it has been reported that she was told to lose 35lb for the role) and was thankful for the chance to reprise the role. As she told the Wall Street Journal, she was happy to return to the role, because she has been Leia for over 40 years and can’t be any more associated with the role than she already is. “And I’m a female working in show business, where, if you’re famous, you have a career until you’re 45, maybe. Maybe. And that’s about 15 people.”
Disney meanwhile are trying to ensure that their Star Wars universe is more female friendly than it was in the 1970s and 1980s, so Star Wars: The Force Awakens has a woman as a hero (Rey). It’s doubtful that we’ll see Rey in any skimpy costumes any time soon.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in UK cinemas on 17 December.