There are rumors Princess Leia’s Return of the Jedi bikini costume is being “retired.”
A little while ago I heard “Princess Leia’s Slave Leia costume is being retired from the Star Wars IP for merchandise and marketing.” I took it to mean that Leia’s gold bikini wouldn’t be used in marketing materials or toys. This isn’t exactly the era to start to see Leia in her captive costume so it was sort of a “who cares” rumor at that point. I still saw a ton of Slave Leia Costumes for sale this Halloween. Each time I wondered about the rumor and if this was simply back-stock from year’s past or if it was just too lucrative to not sell it during the costume season? I figured the rumors just weren’t true, most likely.
Today reader Randolph Cromwell sends us this from Star Wars comic artist J Scott Campbell on Facebook:
It looks like were there is smoke there is fire. The rumor appears to now have some legs. Perhaps because of the recent controversy around the costume and its level of appropriateness for conservative parents and its title for more liberal parents has just made the outfit something to stay away from.
In the script for Return of the Jedi the outfit was described as a dancing girl’s clothes. In the 1990’s when collectors would write in to magazines like Wizard and request their most wanted Star Wars figures that were never made originally, the moniker “Slave” was attributed to the costume. It sort of stuck and here we have a poorly named costume all these years later.
Just recently in an interview, Carrie Fisher was telling Daisy Ridley to fight off having to put on the bikini:
In many ways, we’re moving forward with Princess Leia as a General. Leia is going to have many new costumes and hair styles going forward with his new trilogy that’s about to hit. Celebrating the bikini over everything else the character has worn or will wear is a little cheap. I personally don’t care if they sell products with Leia in the bikini on them as long as they’re scene specific. I would hate to see this poster never released in any way ever again because of a blanket ban on a thirty year old costume:
By the same measure, I don’t really mind a ban all that much when for some, Princess Leia’s character amounts to a rockin’ bod in space underwear because she’s so much more than that.
This totally means no Slave Leia meet and greets at Disneyland.