Star Wars: Slave Leia Merchandise Reportedly Being Discontinued

Princess Leia in slave costume

Star Wars is a franchise full of instantly recognizable iconography. Everything from weapons (lightsabers) to visually striking character designs (Darth Vader) have struck a chord with moviegoers across the globe, helping the beloved space opera endure for multiple generations.

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is no stranger to this phenomenon, as her wardrobe choices have become as famous as anything in the Star Wars galaxy. Leia's trademark hair buns from the 1977 original film is quite famous, while her most infamous costume is the metal bikini slave costume from Return of the Jedi.

Created as a joke after Fisher complained that her costumes in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were so long you could not tell "she was a woman," Leia wore the outfit while she was held captive in Jabba's palace during the first act of Jedi. It's become a staple of Star Wars lore and is popular among convention cosplayers and merchandise manufacturers. However, the costume's days in the limelight might be coming to an end.

In a Facebook post (hat tip Screen Crush), Marvel Comics cover artist J. Scott Campbell addressed the future of slave Leia merchandise and how it might be on its way out:

"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 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."

Some longtime Star Wars fans may be upset that such a legendary part of the franchise's history is going to be discontinued, but this decision is entirely understandable. "Slave Leia" has been the go-to version of the character for years, to the point where it was the only female figure in Hasbro's popular "Black Series" action figure line. As you might expect, that caused a good deal of controversy, particularly among parents who would rather their children not play with toys depicting a scantily clad woman with a metal chain attached to her collar.

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In addition, one of the initiatives at Lucasfilm is to inject a little more diversity in the Star Wars series. The third and final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens paints Rey (Daisy Ridley) as one of the protagonists, meaning that the entire sequel trilogy could be her story. It would send a mixed message to the female demographic if Lucasfilm showed a strong young woman in Rey leading the movies, but were pushing merchandise of slave Leia at the same time. Leia is an intelligent and courageous character capable of handling herself in a fight, and she has plenty of heroic instances worth portraying in future Star Wars products.

In short, this seems like a move to better represent Princess Leia in Star Wars media moving forward. She became a fan-favorite character of both women and men for traits like her determination and wit, not merely her good looks. As famous as that gold bikini is, it doesn't do the spirit of Leia justice, which is why it's best to leave it in the past.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.

Source: Facebook [via Screen Crush]

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