Tuesday, July 31, 2007
"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.