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slave-leia

The big Star Wars rumor of the day is that Disney will be retiring Slave Leia merchandise. Of course everyone assumed I’d be all for this. I’ve been hearing about it all day. Not so fast. First of all, here’s the info. The rumor comes to us from Making Star Wars, who says “Princess Leia’s Slave Leia costume is being retired from the Star Wars IP for merchandise and marketing.” This was confirmed Marvel artist J Scott Campbell on his Facebook page.

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I talk about feminism all the time on Legion of Leia. I’ve also been quite clear about my feelings about something being sexual and something being sexualized. Now look, I think we’re all pretty clear on the fact that Princess Leia loses a bit of her agency in the second two films. She also runs a Rebel base, flies the Millennium Falcon as Lando grabs Luke, attempts to rescue Han, threatens Jabba the Hutt with a thermal detonator, manages to get the little furry teddy bear cannibals not to eat her (consider for a moment where that dress they gave her came from) and strangles a huge crime lord to death with her slave chain while in a metal bikini.

The thing for me is this; I grew up with this Leia. I’m not saying I think we should get Daisy Ridley in that outfit. I’m also not saying she has to wear a parka. I just want to see an amazing character, no matter what she wears. I don’t want her dressed up to please whatever sense of pubescent nostalgia some fans of about my age have. I want her to be important, not for what she wears, but for who she is and what she does. However, erasing history isn’t going to make it go away. That costume, as well as the Bespin dress and the metal necklace and the braids and the Hoth system outfit … all of it are part of this character that inspired generations of girls to be strong. Leia is no damsel in distress. She rescues the guys more than they rescue her. She’s a Rebel leader, a Senator and the best shot in the entire film series. We don’t have to pretend history didn’t happen.

That said, please make good toys! That Black Series Slave Leia looks like she’s being chocked to death and suffering from a spinal injury she clearly doesn’t have in the film.

Okay, let the hate mail begin. I’m prepared.

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Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like Nerdist, ComingSoon.net, Metro, Birth. Movies. Death., IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, in the documentary She Makes Comics, on NPR and Al Jazeera America, and has covered film/TV/gaming/comics for years. She's currently a co-host on Most Craved. She's been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, Game of Thrones Psychology and Star Trek Psychology and more, and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony trailer voice overs that give one nightmares.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • the slave costume says more about jabba than leia. the point is that she is still the rebel leader/ baddass EVEN in the ridiculous outfit. it may even have been part of the plan all along. to get jabba to lower his guard. i dont judge leia for wearing it. i judge her by her actions WHILE wearing it. and yep, still a baddass.

  • Also, Fisher reportedly asked Lucas to let her wear something a little sexier since she had been wrapped up in long dresses and pants the first two films. She was young and proud of her body (and probably slightly impaired on foreign substances) and wanted to flaunt it a bit. It has never been Lucas’s style to exploit women and apparently he wasn’t here, either.

  • The problem is that now we only have slave Leia. I’m a bit sick of it. I love Leia and I loved her a lot as a girl. She was truly inspirational. A strong character I could relate with, but lately she is been reduced to a sexual slave. So, I don’t think is a terrible thing not to see a slave Leia ever again, sorry!

  • What hardships should character’s face in their onscreen time. That’s the question. Should a character never be handed a situation where their mettle is tested? On one side of this argument is Princess Leia. Tortured by Vader. Witnessed her planet being blown up. Organized the rebellion. Had the man she loved turned to carbonite. Moved heaven and Earth to get him back. Took risks that saw her chained to a slug. Took a blaster bolt on Endor. Princess Leia was a monumental character because she underwent all kinds of hardships and never cracked! It seems that Disney don’t wish to acknowledge her overcoming certain kinds of hardships however which diminishes her character in order to make certain people more comfortable. It’s truly a regressive chapter Disney have added to the Star Wars legacy in that some hardships should not be seen or acknowledged. And thus, the character overcoming those hardships, likewise never happened. Not a good message to be spreading.

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