Last week, Carrie Fisher interviewed Daisy Ridley and talk turned to how Ridley should avoid any and all slave outfits. Just a little advice between women from a galaxy far, far away right? Not according to some insiders at the Disney/Lucasfilm machine.
MakingStarWars reports that marching order have come from on high that Hutt-Slayer Leia is to be put on ice. According to artist J. Scott Campbell – who has drawn comics for the new Star Wars canon:
Disney has been pushing hard to make Star Wars a more inclusive place. Women, PoC, and LGBT characters have made in-roads in both the “The Force Awakens” and the official side content. Books, comics, cartoons…they all more accurately reflect the world we live in then the sea of white dudes who made up the original trilogy. So I can”t say I”m that surprised to see Leia”s most contentious and pop-culturally visible costume take a back burner.
After all, from action figures and polyresin statues to Pop! Vinyls and Potato Heads (yes, seriously), Leia”s Hutt-Slayer costume has become ubiquitous to her character. While merchandise featuring other versions of Leia – particularly the white robe and bun hair – exist, they were so few and far between that by the time Disney came on board even celebrities were questioning why they can”t find age-appropriate Leia toys for their kids.
Starting last year the company received considerable backlash during the #WeWantLeia campaign in response to Disney stating no new Leia figures were currently planned. Disney quickly realized their miscalculation. As of this writing you can find Leia in her Boushh outfit from the break-in at Jabba”s Palace, wearing her ceremonial gown from the end of “A New Hope,” and geared in her Endor outfit as part of an AT-ST set in the collectible Black Series. For the kids? The buns make a return in Disney Infinity 3.0 so hey, it”s a start.
No one at Disney or Lucasfilm is retroactively removing Hutt-Slayer Leia from the story. She”s still there if you go back and watch “Return of the Jedi.” But context matters. Leia Organa is the last Princess of Alderaan, an Imperial Senator turned Rebellion leader, a tactical general fighting a guerrilla war. Stripped down to her skivvies and forced into silence by a slobbering crime lord shouldn”t be the first image – or even the third – conjured by her name. Especially when you consider the implications of what it would take to cow Leia into obedience.
And if ladies still choose to wear the Hutt-Slayer Leia look at Halloween or conventions? More power to them. Because it”s a choice THEY”RE making. Not one thrust upon them unwillingly by outside forces with serious political gender undertones. As for me? I won”t be sad to see the metal monstrosity go the way of the dodo.