Now, when it comes to controversial science fiction cosplay outfits, there's really no beating the classic Return of the Jedi-themed 'Slave Leia' bikini option. After all, for every fan who considers it an iconic piece of cinematic history, there'll likely be another who sees it as a classic example of movie sexism and objectification for the sake of objectification.
The toughest part of that whole dilemma? It's pretty solidly both of those things at once. Y'see, while Leia's golden bikini is absolutely one of the defining moments of movie history, that doesn't actually stop it from simultaneously being a symbol of Hollywood's deeply unpleasant chauvinist streak. Carrie 'Leia' Fisher herself even hinted at her own issues with the outfit recently, warning Daisy Ridley to "fight for your outfit. Don't be a slave like I was."
That long-simmering debate, though, could well be set to flare up - since it seems that...
Disney Is Apparently "Wiping Out" the 'Slave Leia' Outfit from All Future Merchandise
That, at least, is what artist J. Scott Campbell is being quoted as having revealed. Campbell, who has worked on licensed Star Wars merchandise for both Marvel and other outlets, reportedly claimed:
"Daisy Ridley won’t have to fight against anything. Disney is already well on it’s way to wiping out the 'slave' outfit from any future products period. You will NOT see and future merchandising featuring the slave outfit ever again...Trust me […] I’ve heard it from two sources. We 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."
Which, if true, seems to suggest that we won't be seeing much more of 'Slave Leia' in the future.
The big question, though?
Is That a Good Thing?
Well, on the one hand, it certainly solves one of the most commonly raised issues with the costume - that Disney (and others) are essentially selling a model of a sex slave to children. Whether you think that's appropriate or not, it's certainly understandable that many fans consider that a step too far. Add in the problematic nature of the outfit in the original movie, and the general culture of systematic sexism that infuses Hollywood, and Disney withdrawing the iconography from circulation can be seen as a victory for fairness and equality.
On the other hand, there's certainly an argument to be made that arbitrarily withdrawing the costume from circulation completely - if that is indeed what turns out to have happened - is an overreaction. After all, problematic as the outfit is, it's also an iconic part of the lives of many fans - something banning its use is hardly going to change.
Or, in other words?
The Debate Isn't Going Away Any Time Soon
But in the meantime, I sure would like to hear Carrie Fisher's thoughts on the whole thing...
What do you reckon, though?