Carrie Fisher’s gold bikini from Return of the Jedi is an iconic yet controversial image in the Star Wars series. To some the costume made Princess Leia an intergalactic pinup fantasy, but to others it underscores the objectification of women in popular entertainment.
Thirty-two years after Jedi first hit theaters, the debate still rages. Comic book artist J. Scott Campbell, who has worked on Marvel’s Star Wars titles, recently created a stir by saying that Disney is phasing out depictions of “Slave Leia” in art and merchandise going forward.
In a series of Facebook comments responding to a post by sci-fi author Blake Northcott, Campbell wrote, “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.”
He added, “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 SL statue killed at a major manufacturer because there will no longer be any SL merchandise.”
After the conversation was picked up by the enthusiast website Making Star Wars, Campbell clarified his comments, tweeting, “For the record, I didn’t say this with any authority, I simply mentioned it seemed to be the case.”
Representatives for Disney and Lucasfilm did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Campbell’s remarks came in the wake of a conversation between Fisher and her Star Wars: The Force Awakens costar Daisy Ridley published in Interview magazine, during which Fisher said she never thought of herself as a sex symbol and advised her younger counterpart, “Don’t be a slave like I was. … You keep fighting against that slave outfit.”