Emily L. Hauser says we’ve been looking at gold-bikini Leia all wrong for decades. We shouldn’t call her “Slave Leia,” we should call her “Leia the Huttslayer.”
Whether or not you give her the title of General of Princess, Leia has long been a lightning rod character in the Star Wars franchise. A strong woman who takes charge, a leader of the Rebellion (and now the Resistance) parents have been wringing their hands for years over the outfit known as the “Slave Leia” outfit, the golden bikini look she’s forced to wear while lying at Jabba’s feet…err, tail.
But perhaps we have been looking at that outfit all wring this whole time? Over at The Week, Emily Hauser argues that by focusing on Leia’s “slave” status we are reducing her to the weakest iteration of her predicament, and overlooking the fact that, while dressed in this utterly impractical outfit, she not only manages to engineer her own escape, but she strangles the mighty crime lord Jabba with the very chains he used to bind her. This is not small task. Like Ginger Rogers, who we should all remember, did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels, Leia takes her utterly weak position and uses it to do what no man had managed in decades, despite dozens upon dozens trying (including her own male colleagues Lando and Luke.) When Leia came in dressed as a man holding a thermal detonator, she got nowhere. It was only in her most feminine guise that she got close enough to murder the scourge of the galaxy.
To be fair, in the Expanded Universe (now defunct) Leia’s Hutt-slaying ways were a major plot point, and she was even on several most wanted lists because of it. But with the reassigning of those stories to “legends” I have to agree that it’s high time that the canon recognize Leia for her bad ass ways. Please continue to see Leia in her gold bikini. But call her who she is and name her noble deed. To quote the article:
Stop already with the “Slave Leia” crap. That woman in the gold bikini? That’s Leia the Hutt Slayer. So she is, and so shall she be named.
And may the Force be with us all.
(And while we’re at it, can she have her own stand alone movie? Kthxbye.)
Check out the entire Star Wars Force Awakens cast list.