What Both Sides Get Wrong In the "Slave Leia Controversy"
When Disney first announced it would no longer be supporting the "slave Leia" outfit that has become an iconic image in the Star Wars series, people were unsurprisingly at odds. 2015 has become the era of argument where every seemingly non-major announcement is met with equal parts praise and outrage, and this was no exception. Until recently, I thought I was pretty in the know (or at least as much as the topic warranted) on this issue. Turns out I, and many of you have been made to believe some things that aren't true, as well as led to promote things that aren't...and in my opinion...shouldn't happen. No matter what side of the Sarlacc you're on, here's what you may have twisted about sci fi's newest controversial costume.
What Slave Leia Supporters Have Wrong
Fans of slave Leia, here's the most important thing YOU need to know. This really does not affect you. At this point, no one (at least at Disney) is talking about removing, altering, or deleting the scenes in Return of The Jedi featuring Carrie Fisher in her slave outfit. What it is is an explanation of its continued marketing.
Leia is a princess, and now, like it or not, a Disney Princess. This means her character, likeness, and image will be marketed and sold to the core young girls of the world as such. When Disney says they are no longer supporting the merchandising of Slave Leia, they are saying "it's weird that we are trying to sell sexy Leia to children."
That's a valid point. If I had a daughter, I would much rather her own a Leia doll where she dons her bounty hunter garb in saving Han, or maybe her land speeder gear on Endor. What message am I sending to my non-existent child if I hand her a barbified sex symbol that is in all of 15 minutes of the film?
Let's be honest, it's been 33 years since ROTJ. Any marketing, costume design, sex doll is and has been done. There is literally nothing left to do but sell it to children. If you're irked about that, you're in the minority and fighting a losing battle.
Finally I hear a lot of people make the argument that Slave Leia is an empowerment of women and a celebration of body image. Let's not forget in the context of the story Leia was forced into that costume by a crime lord who essentially implied he was going to rape her. If the story later had Leia rocking it on the dunes and sun tanning, that's a different story, but there's not much empowering about slave Leia.
What Slave Leia Detractors Have Wrong
Disney is not, and should not, remove slave Leia from Return of The Jedi. First off, they're smarter than George Lucas. They saw the backlash of fans when he made his changes to the original films and have responded by releasing the original cuts of the trilogy. To further change Star Wars would only piss off fans and make them hold onto their love of slave Leia more dearly.
For the sake of artistic integrity, and storywise, Leia should stay in the film as is.
Altering her costume or editing scenes does a greater disservice than the oppressive nature of her outfit. Would it be better to see a full clothed Leia choke a space gangster to death after he threatens to kiss her? The outfit fills in the blanks to an older audience while keeping children widely in the dark. Essentially it's perfect on all levels in that regard.
Let's also talk about how the only reason slave Leia is still a thing is because men have kept it around due to it's sexual nature. That is not at all a fair statement. Leia is sexual in that sense because Carrie Fisher was viewed as a sex symbol even prior to her wearing that outfit...
Also, for what it's worth, a quick search on Google of "slave Leia" will yield numerous forms of evidence that the sexualization of Leia is not just because of men.
Slave Leia is sexist and oppressive in the film because of the nature of the plot, and important to the story. It's not overdone, and as soon as she's able to get out of it she does. I don't find that offensive, Disney apparently doesn't, and neither should you.
That's all I got. Anything you care to add?