The Star Wars universe's Princess Leia trended online this week, and it's not just because of excitement over next month's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" — it's due to the apparent end of the "Slave Leia" version of the character when it comes to Disney's marketing and merchandising.
Who is "Slave Leia"?
In the original Star Wars trilogy, slave trader Jabba the Hutt takes Princess Leia captive and forced to wear a revealing golden bikini in which she's chained to Jabba. She ultimately uses that chain against Jabba to strangle him to death, but many over the years have seen the outfit demeaning, particularly given the character's otherwise proactive actions throughout the series.
What's happening with the "Slave Leia" costume?
While several sites are citing anonymous sources, one person that's come forward is comic book artist J. Scott Campbell, who's drawn some Star Wars material for Marvel. He said that the controversial outfit wouldn't be part of any future merchandising and that they weren't allowed to draw Leia in a "sexy pose" for Marvel, including that outfit. He also said that a Slave Leia statue that was being made was killed in production due to the end of Slave Leia merchandise, which could be seen as a surprise due to the popularity of Slave Leia merchandise over the years.
Mashable points out that this isn't going to keep fans from dressing up as Slave Leia at fan conventions — the revealing look has proven popular with fanboys over the years. Of course, Disney may take some actions to reduce the outfit's profile — at their own D23 fan convention, they ask people to wear family friendly costuming, and costumes like this could certainly fall outside of that rule at future conventions from Disney. Star Wars being under the Disney umbrella means that the Star Wars Celebration convention could see Disney restrict Slave Leias there as well.
What does Leia herself think about "Slave Leia"?
Leia actress Carrie Fisher recently did an interview for Interview Magazine with Daisy Ridley, the female lead in the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." In the interview, Fisher asked Ridley if she'd thought about how she'll likely be made a sex symbol through her role in the series.
"Don't be a slave like I was. ... You keep fighting against that slave outfit," Fisher said.
Ridley replied that she would keep fighting.
Read some reactions to the news online below: