The INSIDER Summary:
• Princess Leia’s golden bikini in one “Star Wars” movie is still controversial.
• Some people think it’s sexist and overly sexualized.
• Carrie Fisher thought that was stupid.
• She had a great argument for what parents should tell their children about the outfit.
The “Star Wars” movies generally aren’t very controversial, but there’s one part of “Episode VI — Return of the Jedi” that still raises eyebrows. It regards Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher, the actress who played her and who died on Tuesday morning at 60.
During the first chunk of the movie, Princess Leia is captured by Jabba the Hutt, a giant, slug-like alien who’s also a kind of gangster lord. Jaba imprisons Leia and makes her wear a now-iconic golden bikini.
The golden bikini has become somewhat controversial over time. Some people think it’s a way to sexualize Fisher for the male fan base of the “Star Wars” series.
Fisher was not always fond of it, either. In Newsweek in 1999, she said, “I remember that iron bikini I wore in ‘Episode VI’: what supermodels will eventually wear in the seventh ring of Hell.” She’s also said that her favourite moment in the “Star Wars” films was killing Jabba the Hutt.
“I had a lot of fun killing Jabba the Hutt. They asked me on the day if I wanted to have a stunt double kill Jabba. No! That’s the best time I ever had as an actor,” Fisher told The Guardian. “And the only reason to go into acting is if you can kill a giant monster.”
But she later softened up to the outfit a bit. In 2015, Fox News ran a story about parents who were skittish about a toy that depicted Princess Leia in the bikini.
“They’re like ‘dad why does this doll have a chain around its neck?,'” One parent said. “I don’t have any answers. I was just blown away looking at it.”
Fisher thought that line of thinking was ridiculous, and she said so in a fantastic interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2015, before the release of “The Force Awakens.” Here’s the exchange:
WSJ: There’s been some debate recently about whether there should be no more merchandise with you in the “Return of the Jedi” bikini.
Fisher: I think that’s stupid.
WSJ: To stop making the merchandise?
Fisher: The father who flipped out about it, “What am I going to tell my kid about why she’s in that outfit?” Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.
So there you have it. If you’re not sure how to explain Princess Leia’s golden bikini to your kids, tell them a giant slug captured her and forced her to wear it, and then she killed him.
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