The opening scene of A New Hope is a thrilling bit of cinema, and probably one of the most seen openings of all time. It firmly establishes that Vader is evil, Leia takes crap from nobody, and kicks off the whole plot of the movie in style. It also features a popular still, up above, Star Wars fans love using.
Go ahead: Google “Darth Vader Leia,” you’re going to see it everywhere. In fact, it’s so popular, Disney made a shirt out of it! A funny shirt, using this classic still with a ever-so-slight revision:
Yes, because it’s a boys’ shirt, suddenly it’s Luke on that rebel cruiser! So is this a Super Special Edition edit, because I can see a few plot problems with Vader stumbling over Luke in the first few minutes of the trilogy. Target had the usual non-apology:
But really, we all know who’s to blame here. Yes, Disney’s belief that boys fear women on their t-shirts strikes once again. Because, as we all know, boys should be afraid of women and never want a graven image of a woman on their bodies. Now let us go to the apothecary for some phlogiston and leeches to balance our humors!
What makes this particularly galling, beyond the fact this Photoshop atrocity exists, is that Disney just wrapped up a recent power play where they used gossip sites to blame Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter for this problem, a claim that never quite told the whole story. Not that Perlmutter is a sweet innocent lamb or anything, but the claim that he told Disney, a company that controls merchandise with an iron fist, what to do always smelled funny. This is proof that if there was a problem at Marvel, there was a problem at Disney as well.
Come on, Disney. Leia is the biggest badass in the Star Wars universe. Give her what she’s due.