Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Presentation of The Slave Leias

"Does LucasFilm officially sponsor this," I ask my video-blog co-host as more than a dozen half-naked women in slave outfits and French braids are paraded out in front of a life-sized replica of Jabba the Hutt.

"Well, they must at least be aware of it, if it's connected to Gentle Giant."

Gentle Giant, at whose booth at the San Diego Comic Con the event was taking place, produce high-end Star Wars replicas and statues. They list the event on their blog as a "Slave Leia Photoshoot."

But the actual organizer of the slave line-up appeared to be a rather mild-mannered & well-groomed gentleman dressed in an imperial guard outfit.

"I just remember watching that scene as a child and being shocked and thinking: wow, that's really sexual," he said, explaining how he got on the whole "Slave Leia" kick.

An Elvis impersonator dressed in Stormtrooper armor announces that the "presentation of the Slave Leias" is about to start. A mad crush of mostly male humanity surges to the stage, crowding me, my co-host, and our cameraman.

Bedlam siezes the San Diego Comic Con as hundreds of men armed with digital cameras and camcorders train their sights on the costumed women.

I try to come up with some on-air banter that will simultaneously fulfill my blog readership's expectations, not completely alienate men, and accurately describe what I am really thinking.

And what am I really thinking?
That this is the way of the world.
That it is all so logical, the whole situation, that to get upset would be superfluous and serve no purpose other than raise my blood pressure.

When the procession is over, me, my co-host, and the camera man are off to interview the Leias and their "handlers." No matter how many times the girlfriend says that this was completely her own decision and that her man, standing beside her in a Han Solo outfit or trucker's hat, had absolutely nothing to do with it, I just didn't buy it.

"She killed Jabba the Hutt," the woman will usually say in response to my question as to whether Slave Leia is an empowering figure. "She choked him with her own slave chain."

But the real question is: how many aroused lightsabers in that compact space filled with Leias, conventioners, and recording equipment? That is the only real question with a real answer, that doesn't beat around the bush (so to speak).

One Leia is pointed out to me as a convention regular, complete with her own MySpace page. After the interview, my co-host suggests to me that maybe she could share the hosting duties for the video blog Saturday night.


  1. "After the interview, my co-host suggests to me that maybe she could share the hosting duties for the video blog Saturday night."

    Good Lord. It's like if missing the point were an advanced form of kung fu, this would the super secret stuff they teach you after you spend ten years meditating under a waterfall.

  2. As a new reader to the blog, can you sum up or point me to the general take on this phenomenon: I've read a couple of posts on this issue, but I feel like I'm missing some original post about it.

    Do you think it's demeaning to women over and above the basic "men like women in skimpy outfits, and some women for various reasons indulge them"? It's interesting that there are so many couples involved in it. It's not like most of the women involved are supermodels: if it were all about straight oogling that would be one thing, but there definitely seems to be an additional vibe going on of specifically having your partner up there on display.

    And where's the torn-shirt Kirk/shirtless Sulu procession?

  3. "And where's the torn-shirt Kirk/shirtless Sulu procession?"

    Off fighting the ever-popular, ever-deadly Granny Gorns, a group of elderly cosplayers that attends Comicon each year dressed as ferocious lizard men seeking to redeem their honor through ritual combat.

  4. i really think the slave leia thing needs to fucking die. i'm a guy too. maybe i'm somewhat enlightened or maybe its the fact i've been with actual normal women. i think i burned many a geek bridge by not being into the bullshit slave leia thing. when i first saw it i wasn't even anywhere near puberty so it didn't strike me as anything sexual till later on...but when it did i really hated the idea of women subject to being chained up in huge a way. i liked girls that were more my equal than anything. intelligent strong warm girls who i can talk to in an intelligent manner and maybe just maybe be the creative sort that can help out with the comics i make. slave leia is degrading and i feel its yet another thing thats dragging fandom down. if people really want to be taken seriously they need to drop the slave shit. among other things and find a real girl after a nice long shower and live like a human instead of drooling over a degrading idiot ideal.

    i'm sure alot of the guys oogling the slaves hasn't even touched a boob. and thats really sad.

    its not about the skimpy outfit in my opinion. it looks to be more of the idea of a woman that can't run away. will broken, succumbing to the wills of some master. it makes me ashamed to be associated with the male gender when i see these people. the skimpy outfit is just icing on the nerdbomb cake.

    i'll probably be writing about the slave leia idiocy on my blog soon.

    bring on the greased up sweaty sulu photoshoots goddamn it. equal time my friends. equal time.

  5. Oh this is a little off topic..bear with me. i would like to offer a sincere appology to beau smith..who i went on a tirade about a few posts back. he responded to me and i answered back but haven't heard anything back. so i want to state it publicly. i hold no ill will to beau and i was way out of line with my bashing. while i didn't bash him as a person i did trash his character and i hope people can forgive my transgressions. while i did and still do have issues with some of his writing i respect his opinions and his right to say what he wants. last thing i need to do is burn bridges with otherwise cool people with my idiot ranting. especially when i'm trying to get back into the industry i love.

    so if you see this...sorry beau. i mean it from the bottom of my very damaged heart.

    i am an asshole.

    sorry val for taking up this space but i felt i should get it out in the open here.

  6. Just to clarify one point, the MC is actually known as Stormtrooper Elvis. It's become of a bit of an official title for him, as he's the only Elvis Stormtrooper cosplayer. Great guy, and he even got "busted" by the Gentle Giant crew.
    Oddly, I think I want one of those busts. Slave Girl Leia parades, though? I'm kinda meh on. Too creepy.

  7. I was trying to think of a male analog for the leia parade. I think the only thing that comes close would be a parade of Spartans from 300. Both are clad in next to nothing.

    However, the similarities end with the skimpy nut huggies. The Spartans were warriors, their dress pared down to the barest (if you will) essentials to allow for maximum movement in combat. Slave Leia's garb serves one purpose. And it's not for the killing of fatty slugs.

    Although it's true that slave Leia did choke fatty mc Jaba to death, it's far from "empowering." I notice that none of the photos I've seen of the Slave Leia's feature them choking the shit out of Jaba. If we saw lots of that, I could almost buy the empowerment argument. Almost.

    Black people don't dress up as slaves and call that empowering. Why geek women would dress up as a slave and call that empowering is beyond me.

  8. I've stolen your pic for a related post on my blog, by the way. credit given.

    as far as whether lucas would be caught dead next to he leias and the jabba, i have to wonder...

    funny, i was the right age, but just didn't get the sexual content in jedi. perhaps I didn't hav ethe hots for carrie, or that universe was simply so purient in it's approach. i find, as a man, amidala in the body suit in clones wayyyyy sexier than carrie in the slave girl outfit.

    deep question: does lucas have a lego leia slave girl figure?