Disney is launching an absolute marketing bonanza around Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year, but there’s reportedly one iconic image we won’t be seeing much of anymore.
A new report from Marvel artist J. Scott Campbell (Note: Disney owns Marvel, and Marvel publishes Star Wars comics) claims the Mouse House is eyeing a plan to remove Slave Leia from any and all future merchandising and products. It’s worth noting Slave Leia is arguably one of the most iconic looks in cinema history and remains a staple of cosplay to this day — not to mention one of the most enduring moments from the original trilogy.
But turning your film's only female hero into a literal slave in a bikini? Not super cool these days (and yes, we realize she did eventually escape and kick butt while doing so). Carrie Fisher herself even commented on the history of the outfit recently, urging new Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley not to let them put her in a golden bikini.
"Disney is already well on its 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 .... [Artists] 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.”
Disney is sitting in a precarious position here, and the company has a well-documented history of gaffes when it comes to female heroes and merchandising (see: The Black Widow debacle). It’ll be interesting to see if this is true, and what (if any) response Disney might make to these comments.
What’s your take on the situation? Is this an over-reaction or a move in the right direction? Should they replace Slave Leia merch with some shots of vintage Leia rocking a blaster and taking out stormtroopers?