40 years after ‘Return of the Jedi,’ how Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in a gold bikini became one of pop culture’s most enduring images

  • Carrie Fisher wore a famous gold bikini in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” released 40 years ago Thursday.
  • The main character was obliged to put it on when she was seized by interstellar mobster Jabba the Hutt.
  • Insiders inform experts on the transformation of the costume from a representation of subjugation to a source of empowerment.
  • Movie enthusiasts watched “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” four decades ago, filled with anticipation to discover the aftermath of the heart-stopping conclusion in “The Empire Strikes Back” from 1980.

    Little did they know that the first 20 minutes of the sequel would reveal Darth Daddy as nearly as iconic as something they had delivered before.

    In the opening moments, Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher) masquerades as a bounty hunter to mount a mission to save Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) from the sluglike gangster Jabba. It turns out that Jabba has laid a trap for his slave princess, imprisoning her in a gold bikini and acting as a piece of history in the cinema.

    Until this point, the original “Star Wars” trilogy had largely depicted Leia as a gutsy and headstrong fighter, as seen here when we observe Dr. Becca Harrison, author of the 2020 book and a lecturer in media and film at the University of Open UK, having her agency stripped away.

    Harrison informs Insider that “she is restrained – not solely a swimsuit that she is donning. Furthermore, let us not overlook, it is not solely a swimsuit that she is wearing – she is restrained.” Harrison explains to Insider that the purpose of this attire is to objectify and unveil her, as well as to render her more physically defenseless in a perilous environment. Harrison adds that this is completely different from her usual modest costumes.

    In true Leia style, however, the resourceful heroine turns the tables, killing Jabba with the very chains he had shackled her in.

    Maybe you are interested  Texas reports first case of monkeypox, but officials say it poses little risk to the public

    Today, the message sent by Leia, a character we have always known to be capable, still resonates around the world, particularly among girls and women. She quickly re-established herself by doing so.

    Harrison expresses that this is a highly emblematic demonstration of authority – skillfully employing the limitations that subject you to conquer your suppressor.

    According to Harrison, the scene symbolizes a broader “feminist” perspective in which men’s attempts to demean a woman based on her clothing fail.

    That sentiment is echoed by Amy Richau, the author of “Star Wars I Love You. I Know: Lessons in Love and Friendship.”.

    Richau explains that while she appears to be dressed in a comfortable yoga attire, she is swiftly moving about in the movie as the protagonists make their getaway. Leia once again demonstrates her resilience by refusing to be thrown off or hindered by the outfit. It is important to note that Jabba deliberately selected this outfit to objectify and degrade her.

    The main message, then, at least for certain viewers, is empowerment.

    “You can choose to wear a gold bikini and still be respected as a leader,” adds Harrison.

    In addition to the box office success, the influence of Leia’s golden bikini was evident as “Return of the Jedi” earned more than $475 million upon its release.

    Carrie Fisher posing in the Princess Leia bikini next to Darth Vader, a Gamorrean Guard, and an Ewok.

    In the history of popular culture, this solidified the bikini as truly a pivotal moment. Fisher adorned the front page and pages of Rolling Stone magazine donning the attire in a now-legendary beach photo session during the period the film was launched.

    The iconic image has remained influential, making significant contributions to various aspects. It has even been imitated by Kim Kardashian and satirized in popular television shows such as “Friends” and “Family Guy.” Additionally, it has been replicated on posters, cardboard cutouts, and refrigerator magnets, solidifying its enduring presence over the past four decades.

    Darth Vader’s headgear, and Chewbacca, are just as beloved by attendees of conventions as the golden swimsuit is also a common outfit in the cosplay community worldwide.

    Maybe you are interested  George Santos insists he's donating his congressional salary, but he won't say where it's going: 'I owe you no explanation'

    According to Cosplayer Tabitha Lyons, who is known as “artyfakes” on Instagram and has a following of over 140,000, the appearance has now become a symbol of an individual’s self-assurance and control, as she informs Insider.

    She states, “I am not obligated to conform to a stereotype. Personally, it taught me the significance of witnessing Leia triumph over the villains while still embracing her femininity.”

    Lyons recently unearthed her own gold bikini for Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London, and states: “It felt empowering.”

    “I was surrounded by other Leia cosplayers, including males, which was so enjoyable to witness,” she adds.

    Julia Wold, the cohost of the English class podcast “Star Wars Literary Perspective,” analyzes the space saga from a literary perspective, empowering a few women who know exactly where to find and create this cosplay costume.

    In November 2016, just a month before her death, NPR informed her that Lucas George, the creator of the “costume” she was not “wearing,” made her feel “nervous” and it was not her “choice.”

    Wold states that in this particular situation, the act of donning the attire can be regarded as rebellious.

    She explains, “because they believe it is empowering, I largely think that Fisher and Leia have no luxury to put a choice on it.”

    Is the swimsuit too excessive according to contemporary norms?

    In 2015, reports emerged that Disney was looking to phase out the iconic image of Leia clad in a revealing bikini, sparked by an online debate over whether this outfit was gratuitously modern or not. This led to discussions about discontinuing the marketing and merchandise featuring this costume.

    However, when observed from the perspective of the male perspective rather than being recognized as a determined and influential figure who holds positions of power such as a leader, princess, and politician, Leia is portrayed in a way that reduces her to an object. This is evident in her choice of costumes, such as the gold bikini, which researchers from Florida State University argued in a study conducted in 2019.

    Maybe you are interested  Nick Cannon Reacts to Rumors He Died
    Carrie Fisher lying on a beach wearing Princess Leia’s bikini from “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.”

    However, Richau argues that even if the costume of Leia was meant to sexualize Fisher’s character, the film serves as a historical record preserving scenes from the early 1980s.

    The author expresses, “I do not appreciate altering the original editions of movies, thus I would not desire anyone modifying it presently.” “Throughout history, it has been customary for filmmakers to concoct reasons for female celebrities to don revealing garments, and I believe this particular instance is one of the most renowned illustrations from that era.”

    On the other hand, Harrison, the lecturer in film and media, argues that contemporary censorship of the bikini is misguided.

    She states, “some individuals might perceive as sexual those who wear fetish attire, which typically includes chains and gold bikinis, as appearing demeaning or degrading. However, I do not necessarily believe that it’s always a worse idea to begin a story with that concept, and I don’t think the story is necessarily bad.”

    Matt Hudson, the cohost of the popular podcast “Star Wars Sessions,” argues that what sets apart the era of Star Wars movies is the stark contrast between the transgressive actions of Jabba, which involve killing, and the numerous gratuitous bikini-clad scenes, and the scanty costume of Leia.

    He states, “Does the sequence possess the identical effect without the bikini? Can you envision how the sequence unfolds if it’s the white ‘New Hope’ attire… If it’s an entirely distinct attire?”

    According to Hudson, “Star Wars” is fundamentally a tale of “optimism and defiance.”

    And who better personifies the defiant nature of the franchise than Leia?

    “This outfit,” and Leia’s personal act of defiance in it, “has greatly contributed to proving that statement,” states Hudson.

    Related Posts

    Yahoo News

    Australia has started its spider season in most parts. This information was shared by Graham Milledge, who is the Manager of Arachnology Collection at the Australian Museum,…

    Dad arrested after 4-year-old boy captured playing with gun alone: Police

    A man from Indiana was arrested after his 4-year-old son was captured on security camera footage playing with a loaded gun in the hallway of their apartment…

    Bet365.mx Apuestas deportivas en México

    Bet365.Mx has already conquered thousands of customers in our country, thanks to its fantastic sports betting service and has demonstrated a great interest in continuing to grow…

    Why is TikTok obsessed with East 81st Street Deli?

    A compact delicatessen has gained popularity on TikTok after a video of a patron sampling their cuisine went viral. The Deli 81st East in Cleveland, Ohio often…

    8 Ways to Fix Snapchat My AI Not Working or Showing on Mobile App

    Apart from messaging your friends, you can now chat with AI-powered chatbots on Snapchat, thanks to the integration of ChatGPT, an AI system developed by OpenAI. However,…

    East Side Elementary’s New Logo Disturbs Community

    I hope this was an honest oversight, but I immediately reacted on Twitter when I learned that the new logo announced on July 15th for East Side…