Grab your wallet and hurry to your nearest collectable store before the owners get their eyeballs on this story. Because it sounds like Disney is about to phase out all merchandise that depicts Princess Leia in her sail barge slave bikini from Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. This is news that will surely riley up fans, and if Jabba the Hutt were still alive, it would kill him deader than a chain around the neck.
Is this the further Disney-fication of the Star Wars franchise? Will someone go back and digitally paint clothing on Slave Leia? Or is this a much needed change in the current Star Wars iconography in terms of Carrie Fisher's legendary character? In three movies and counting, Princess Leia has always been depicted as one of the franchise's strongest characters. She's proven herself to be a better marksman than her brother Luke. She carries the Jedi gene. And she has always proven capable of holding her own when it comes to Han Solo. So some find it a little disconcerting that the overwhelming majority of Star Wars merchandise featuring Darth Vader's daughter depicts her in a skimpy, skin baring outfit that has probably helped more boys through puberty than Hugh M. Hefner himself. She's one of the most empowering figures in science fiction history. Yet, most of the time, she is reduced to a futuristic pin-up model.
And that's because most of the merchandise is aimed at boys. While Slave Leia is an iconic part of the series, some feel this is not the best way to represent everything she stands for. And that's why Disney and Lucasfilm are said to be taking steps to phase her out of any and all merchandise including toys, clothing and wall decorations. This rumor comes directly from a veteran Star Wars artist, so it holds some weight. And it sounds like once Slave Leia is phased out, she won't be making a return anytime soon.
This latest news comes just a week after Carrie Fisher imparted some important sex advice to her Star Wars: The Force Awakens co-star Daisy Ridley. The two sat down together for a chat published in the latest Interview Magazine, where the original trilogy star told the newcomer to 'fight for her outfit'. Carrie Fisher has strong feelings when it comes to that slave bikini. She went onto tell Daisy Ridley to 'keep fighting against that slave outfit'. She also said, 'Don't be a slave like I was'. It's not clear if Carrie Fisher's opinion on the slave Leia costume helped get it phased out, but the costume itself will probably remain popular until the end of time. The original bikini worn in the movie by Fisher recently sold at auction for $96,000.
J. Scott Campbell, a respected comic book artist who has done quite a bit of Star Wars artwork in the past, is the one claiming that Disney is in the process of illuminating Slave Leia's image from store shelves. Speaking from his own Facebook page, courtesy of Making Star Wars, he had this to say.
Daisy Ridley won't have to fight against anything. Disney is already well on it's way to wiping out the 'slave' outfit from any future products period. You will NOT see any future merchandising featuring the slave outfit ever again. Trust me."
It doesn't just stop at the merchandise. Apparently, none of the comic book artists are being allowed to depict Leia in her maroon and gold bikini any longer. Heck, they can't even show her in a 'sexy' pose. Which can only mean that the slave outfit will soon be phased completely out of the movie, right?
"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 SL statue killed at a major manufacturer because there will no longer be any SL merchandise."
No one at Disney or Lucasfilm have confirmed this yet. And they might not, quietly phasing out the Slave Leia merchandise as to not cause an uproar amongst some of the louder Star Wars fans who will be against this move on the studio's part. Especially since Slave Leia has been such a huge part of Star Wars lore since she was first introduced in 1983.
It's speculated that all upcoming Princess Leia merchandise from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will depict her as a soldier, and the leader of the Resistance. Though, no merchandise has been released for any of the original trilogy characters yet. Even with Slave Leia being phased out, the costume will probably remain quite popular amongst female cosplayers at Comic Con and other conventions. What do you think? Is phasing out Slave Leia the right direction for LucasFilm and Disney to go with Princess Leia in the future?