2/11/2014

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Return of the Jedi;
Source: Lucasarts
It was the moment that sent geek hormones raging for generations. In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia is captured by the evil gangster Jabba the Hutt, and forced to wear a degradingly skimpy outfit. The outfit, which has come to be known as the Slave Leia costume, is one of the most popular uniforms in the geek universe. Here's a few details you might not have known about the iconic look.

Note: We're gonna talk a lot about metal bikinis in this post, so it's slightly NSFW, at least any work where people would frown on seeing a lot of metal bikinis.

1. The Slave Leia costume was introduced because Carrie Fisher complained about the boring costumes she wore in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Fisher reportedly said you couldn't tell she was a woman in them.

2. The Slave Leia costume was actually worn by two people in the cast: actress Carrie Fisher and her stuntwoman Tracy Eddon.

3. The costume was created by costumer designers Aggie Guerard Rodgers and Nilo Rodis-Jamero, and constructed with help from Industrial Light and Magic.
Original Concept Art, Source: The Art of Return of the Jedi (Del Rey Books/1994)
4. The costume was inspired by fantasy artist Frank Frazetta's artwork, Egyptian Queen.
Egyptian Queen by Frank Franzetta, Source: Frankfranzetta.org
5. There were different versions of the costume: a metal version for scenes where Fisher didn't move, and a rubber version for performing stunt work.
Source: Return of the Jedi (Lucasarts)
6. To ensure a custom fit, the costuming department made a cast of Carrie Fisher's torso to build the costume around.

7. The original design called for twenty five yards of fabric that would flow throughout the palace, but they couldn't get it to work.

8. The moldmaker assigned to make the mold of Fisher's torso got so excited about it that they gave the assignment to someone else.

9. Before filming, Fisher was shown the concept design, and it frightened her into increasing her exercise routine to tone her body for the shoot. She believes that was the point of showing her the drawings.
Concept Art, Source: Aggie Guirard Rodgers
10. The inflexibility of the metal version meant that "wardrobe malfunctions" were common. Several scenes had to be re-shot because of accidental exposure.
Source: Star Wars Archives
11. One wardrobe assistant had to check to make sure Fisher's breasts hadn't fallen out after each take.

12. Despite Lucas' intentions, Fisher was apparently not happy about the Slave Leia costume. She later called it "what supermodels will eventually wear in the seventh ring of hell."

13. The Kenner toy company created many action figures of Princess Leia, but never made one for Slave Leia, because they thought it was too risque.

14. The first official Slave Leia toy wasn't released until 1997, as "Jabba's Prisoner" in Hasbro's Power of the Force collection.
Source: Entertainment Earth
15. The costume has become a huge part of pop culture, and is frequently worn by celebrities and non-celebrities alike. Some notable examples include Jennifer Aniston on the TV show Friends, by Yvonne Strahovski on the TV show Chuck, and Kristen Bell in the movie Fanboys.
Jennifer Aniston, Friends; Source: NBC
Yvonne Strahovski, Chuck; Source: NBC
Kirsten Bell, Fanboys


UPDATE: Carrie Fisher fact-checked this article! Check out the rundown

Resources:
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Slave_Leia_costume
http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/01/12/peter-mayhew-reveals-behind-the-scenes-star-wars-photos
http://filmsketchr.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-visual-history-of-star-wars-princess.html
http://www.worldwideinterweb.com/component/k2/item/5770-slave-princess-leia-rare-behind-the-scenes-pictures.html
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/10/carrie-fishers-sound-thoughts-on-princess-leia-in-1983

What do you think of Slave Leia?

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8 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

She certainly should have been careful for what she wished for. You have to wonder where Jabba got that from; is there a Victoria's Secret in Mos Eisley?

DAVID WALSTON said...

I can only imagine #8 must have been a guy!

Tony Laplume said...

I'm sure those are outtakes we'll never see.

comicbookandmoviereviews said...

Poor, Carrie. Metal tits must have gotten on her bloody tits. Both figuratively, and literally.

comicbookandmoviereviews said...

A very luck guy.

PK Hrezo said...

It is a bit much. I remember seeing Jedi when I was like 10 and thinking holy canoli she ain't got no clothes on!! I can imagine her workout routine would be beyond rigorous to pull that number off like she did. Goodbye pasta and vino! For like a year. Boo.
Interesting tidbits tho! :)

Gary K. McCormick said...

Guy who got the job in #11 tells friend about it. Friend asks, "How much?" Guy says, "$50 a day." Friend says, "That's not very much money." Guy says, "It's all I could afford."

Nigel Mitchell said...

That's hilarious!

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