Princess Leia's bikini
Costume designer Aggie Guerard Rodgers built the costume as part of the Industrial Light & Magic visual effects company, along with Nilo Rodis-Jamero. Rodgers said that Lucas gave her only general instructions about the scene in Jabba's palace, but wanted a special costume. She originally "wanted 25 yards of fabric to be flowing through the scene", but couldn't make it work.
The outfit was first developed in sketches by Rodis-Jamero, assistant art director of visual effects for The Empire Strikes Back and the Return of the Jedi costume designer. Rodgers said in 2006 that the costume's design was inspired by the work of science fiction artist Frank Frazetta, saying "He really loved [the female] form. The fact that [Leia's costume is] such a female sensual costume, I think is terrific." Author Rikke Schubart wrote in 2007 that the final design was inspired by Fantastic Story Magazine's cover illustrator Earle K. Bergey drawings of women in metal bikinis that served as putative armors. The costume is a type that can be traced to earlier films, such as Myrna Loy’s turn as the native dancing girl in The Desert Song from 1929, Yvonne De Carlo in Slave Girl, 1947, and Maria Montez adventure films from the 1940s. The bikini was also worn by stuntwoman Tracy Eddon for the film.
Design and material
Rodgers and the staff created multiple versions of the metal bikini string to accommodate different scenes in the film, including a hard metal piece (original bronze bra by Sculptor Richard Miller who is credited as "head jeweler" in the film credits) for scenes in which Fisher remained still, and a rubber outfit she and stuntwoman Tracy Eddon could wear comfortably while performing stunts. The costume designers made a mold of Carrie Fisher's torso so it could be designed to a custom fit. Fisher said of the material, "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." She also said, "I remember that iron bikini I wore in "Episode VI": what supermodels will eventually wear in the seventh ring of hell."
- Top: The outfit consisted of a patterned copper brassiere with a curved, plunging neckline that fastened behind the neck and back with string.
- Bottom: The outfit had a copper plate at the front while the back was covered by a red silk loincloth.
- Accessories: Fisher wore knee-high boots of leather, a hair fastener that positioned her braided ponytail to cascade over her right shoulder, two bracelets, and a snake arm-wrap. She also wore a chain and collar that bound her to Jabba the Hutt, her captor, which she used to kill him.
Featured only in two scenes, the costume has nonetheless made Carrie Fisher an iconic sex symbol, and is often imitated by female fans at Star Wars Celebrations and is a popular cosplay at comic cons. The slave Leia costume has been elevated to pop culture icon status, spawning various spoofs and parodies and even a dedicated fansite. The outfit has also become a popular Halloween costume. One Wired editor stated the only reason for the outfit's fame is "no doubt that the sight of Carrie Fisher in the gold sci-fi swimsuit was burned into the sweaty subconscious of a generation of fanboys hitting puberty in the spring of 1983."
Noah Berlatsky has argued for a deeper significance to the costume beyond its function as a sex symbol, stating that the costume represents an important stage in Princess Leia's complicated relationship with Han Solo. Peter W. Lee argues that the bikini connotes Leia's hopelessness and helplessness, but even in that demeaning costume she retains her dignity and remains an icon of feminism.
Various celebrities have also been shown wearing the costume. Melissa Joan Hart, the star of the shows Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, was photographed wearing the outfit during a costume party. Kerri Kasem, a radio and television host, has been photographed wearing the costume. Actress/model Phoebe Price wore it at the San Diego Comic-Con International in 2010. Liana K, the Canadian co-host of Ed & Red's Night Party and a well-known cosplayer, appeared at 2008 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo dressed in Princess Leia's slave girl outfit. Comedian Amy Schumer wore a replica of Leia's slave outfit for the August 2015 cover of GQ.
In popular culture
|1996||Friends||"The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy"||Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston)||Rachel dresses up in the costume to arouse her boyfriend Ross Geller (David Schwimmer)|||
|2000||Family Guy||"He's Too Sexy for His Fat"||Slave||Worn by a slave of Jabba the Griffin (voiced by Seth MacFarlane)|
|2011||"It's a Trap!"||Lois Griffin as Princess Leia (voiced by Alex Borstein)||Worn by Lois Griffin.|
|2003||Justice League||"Hearts and Minds"||Katma Tui||Worn by Green Lantern, Katma Tui, while she is undercover.|
|2007||Robot Chicken||"Robot Chicken: Star Wars"||Princess Leia (voiced by Candace Bailey)||Star Wars-themed special of the show Robot Chicken aired on Cartoon Network|
|2007||Dancing with the Stars||Fourth season||Kym Johnson||Dancing with singer Joey Fatone to the tune of the "Star Wars main theme"|||
|2007||Chuck||"Chuck Versus the Sandworm"||Agent Sarah Walker (played by Yvonne Strahovski)||A fake photo of Sarah in the costume is central to the storyline, and she later wears it for real.
Strahovski's appearance wearing the slave bikini costume prompted Wizard magazine to rank her #24 of the 25 sexiest women on TV in 2008. IGN gave Strahovski the top honor in a similar list.
|2009||Fanboys||Zoe (played by Kristen Bell)||Comedy film about a group of friends who decide to break into Skywalker Ranch to steal an early print of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace|||
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cosplay of Leia Organa slave bikini.|
- Edlitz, Mark (August 5, 2010). "Fashion by Jabba the Hutt". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- Romano, Nick (October 3, 2015). "Princess Leia's Star Wars bikini sells for $96,000 at auction". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 25, 2015.