Rumors abound that Disney is doing away with merchandise depicting the most popular Star Wars heroine in the outfit she wore when forced into slavery to Jabba the Hutt.
In the wake of Carrie Fisher telling newcomer Daisy Ridley to “keep fighting against that slave outfit,” the rumor that all further Star Wars merchandise will not feature the iconic metal bikini has caused quite the furor online.
Noted Marvel cover artist J. Scott Campbell posted the following on Facebook, which is the primary evidence anyone has for the ban:
I don’t think an outright ban is the way to go on this one, but I completely agree it should not be the main outfit we see Princess Leia in. Additionally, banning the outfit will only add value to existing Slave Leia collectibles, which is probably not the intended outcome. I’m not that sorry that Leia can’t be drawn in a sexy pose or in the bikini on the comic book covers. We have so, so, so much art with her in a sexy pose or in the bikini that it might be nice to force artists to be a bit more creative in their depictions of her. I wonder if the Marvel ban comes from too much of the art for Leia being submitted being too sexy, creating the need for a ban to produce different results? I need to point out that the constant depictions of her in that outfit are seldom when she’s actually killing Jabba, which is a pretty awesome character moment for her.
I think the best solution is to simply not prioritize this outfit over everything else she’s worn. The merchandising has admittedly over-emphasized this particular outfit of Leia’s, which is probably why annoyance and outrage abound. Scaling back for a little while would probably be more productive than an outright ban, and much less attractive for clickbait and headlines. For the first 2-3 years, the only female figure in the 6-inch Black Series of prestige action figures was Slave Leia (this changed sometime in late 2014 or early 2015, when Leia’s Boushh outfit debuted. Rey has since been added, with Captain Phasma announced.) For a woman as strong, intelligent, and courageous as Leia, why emphasize the only outfit that is skin-baring and something she wore while enslaved?
What do you think? Is it Disney/ Marvel’s corporate pandering taking things too far, or a saving throw for Leia’s character to finally get a fair depiction in the merchandise?
Edit: A reader found the question I asked unclear. There has been backlash against Slave Leia toys in the past year, but on a very small level (I can only find one parent who complained.) I have edited the question at the end of this post to read: “Disney/Marvel’s corporate pandering” instead of “social justice warriors.” I apologize for the confusion.