6/11/2015

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Return of the Jedi;
Source: Lucasarts
In 2014, we wrote an article called 15 Interesting Facts About the Slave Leia Costume. It's one of our most popular articles, and we were pretty proud of it. Until we got a tweet that blew us away. Carrie Fisher herself weighed in on the "facts," and what was right and wrong.

On 6/10/15, Jamie (@hamstachick) reached out to @carriefisher, and asked her to fact-check the article. Surprisingly, Carrie Fisher responded with this:
Now first of all, we should clarify that none of the information in the article came from us. We have no first-hand knowledge of the movies. All of the information came from various sources which we listed in the article. So apparently, some of them (which are considered canon in the Star Wars community) are wrong or unverifiable from Ms. Fisher. Let's run down the list, what she said about them, and why.

1. The Slave Leia costume was introduced because Carrie Fisher complained about the boring costumes she wore...[Source]
Carrie Said: NOT TRUE
Why: Of all of them, we found this the most interesting disputed fact, because it's so well-known in the community. In the original article, we referred to a quote attributed to Carrie Fisher that her costumes in the first two movies weren't flattering, that you couldn't tell "she was a woman." The quote came from an IGN, and is a pretty common quote. It seems to be apocryphal, because I couldn't find any actual articles linking to a source. The closest I found to Fisher's thoughts about the concept of the costume was in her 1983 Rolling Stone interview, where she says, "In Return of the Jedi, she gets to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate. But let’s not forget that these movies are basically boys’ fantasies. So the other way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her clothes." That implies the decision was Lucas', not Fisher's.

2. The Slave Leia costume was actually worn by two people in the cast: actress Carrie Fisher and her stuntwoman Tracy Eddon. [Source]
Carrie Said: TRUE
Why: This is kind of an easy one, because we have a photo of Carrie and her stuntwoman wearing the bikini.

3. The costume was created by costumer designers Aggie Guerard Rodgers and Nilo Rodis-Jamero, and constructed with help from Industrial Light and Magic. [Source]
Carrie Said: MAYBE
Why: This really wasn't her department. We have to remember Carrie was just an employee, an actor who had some insight into the production, but may not have been too much involved in the rest of it. But this info comes from an artbook released by Lucasfilm.

4. The costume was inspired by fantasy artist Frank Frazetta's artwork, Egyptian Queen. [Source]
Carrie Said: DON'T KNOW
Why: Once again, this wasn't really Carrie's department, so she may not have asked. But this came from the official Star Wars website, so it seems legit.

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]
Carrie Said: MAYBE
Why: This is kind of odd, to be honest. Why would she say "maybe?" Wouldn't she have known if she wore a rubber version versus a metal version? We're thinking that maybe the rubber one was only worn by her stuntwoman, since she didn't do her own stunts, so Leia didn't wear the rubber one. But would she not have noticed the stuntwoman's bikini was rubber?

6. To ensure a custom fit, the costuming department made a cast of Carrie Fisher's torso to build the costume around. [Source]
Carrie Said: DON'T KNOW
Why: We puzzled over this one, as well. Wouldn't she have known if they made a cast of her? That would have taken a while. Maybe they made a cast of her, but she didn't think what it was for at the time. But since she didn't say it was untrue, it might be true.

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. [Source]
Carrie Said: DON'T KNOW
Why: Once again, outside of Carrie's wheelhouse, since this would have been a decision made before they even showed her the costume. But we have a quote from the costume's designer.

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. [Source]
Carrie Said: NOT TRUE
Why: This one could fall under the role of an urban legend. That's a shame, because it was my favorite anecdote in the whole article.

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. [Source]
Carrie Said: TRUE
Why: I can imagine she would remember all those exercises.

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]
Carrie Said: MAYBE
Why: This is actually another puzzler, since Carrie allegedly made this statement in Star Wars Insider 68 in June 2003: "It was like steel, not steel, but hard plastic, and if you stood behind me you could see straight to Florida. You'll have to ask Boba Fett about that." Her "maybe" may not refer to the wardrobe malfunctions, but to the fact that some of the re-shoots were because of those malfunctions. Again, she wouldn't be involved in re-shoots.

11. One wardrobe assistant had to check to make sure Fisher's breasts hadn't fallen out after each take. [Source]
Carrie Said: NOT TRUE
Why: This also came from IGN, and sounds like another urban legend. I'm sure she would have remembered someone checking her boobs on the set.

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." [Source]
Carrie Said: NOT TRUE
Why: This one is a real puzzler. That quote about supermodel hell is taken directly from an article she allegedly wrote for Newsweek, "Postcards From the Edge of the Galaxy." The only explanation I can make is she didn't actually write the article, which means she should sue Newsweek for misquoting her.

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. [Source]
Carrie Said: DON'T KNOW
Why: I'm sure this also falls outside her bailiwick.

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]
Carrie Said: DON'T KNOW
Why: See above. But we know it's true, according to Hasbro.

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. [Source]
Carrie Said: TRUE
Why: This is easily verifiable to anyone because we have photos of it.
What do you think about Carrie Fisher's comments?

Oh, and Ms. Fisher, if you ever want to reach out to us to clarify your answers, we'd love to hear your side of it.

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8 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

Wow, you guys are rubbing shoulders with the greats now. It was over 30 years ago so maybe her memory isn't all that great about some things.

Nigel Mitchell said...

Rubbing virtual shoulders, yes.

Tony Laplume said...

You should also take her responses with a grain of salt. The fact that she responded at all is the coup here. Whether or not she took great consideration in her answers is far less a given. On the plus side, you're officially a footnote in Star Wars history!

DAVID WALSTON said...

Nice! Congrats on her taking time to look at the article.
I just came here for more ...nostalgia...

Katy said...

Oh wow, that is pretty cool! This page now becomes a primary source for Star Wars trivia.


Plus it gave you a good excuse to post a couple more pics of slave Leia.

MPax said...

Major cool she answered you. Maybe her memory is fuzzy about the cast thing. There are lots of things I don't remember from way back then.

jeremy [retro] said...

Nice... I have those two fantasies as a kid, her and Wonder Woman [Linda Carter]... not together of course I was like 13yrs old...

Nigel Mitchell said...

Now I have that fantasy o_0

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