After going to the mat with Spike TV over their claims that Chewbacca was the original wingman, we thought Vulture had debunked once and for all Spike TV's bus-stop ads for the Star Wars trilogy. But then we went to Comic-Con, where we saw a dozen-plus female fans dressed as Princess Leia — and not Leia with the double-Danish hairstyle, but Slave Leia, scantily dressed as she was when imprisoned by Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi. Seeing the Slave Leia gathering at Comic-Con on Saturday has forced us to acknowledge that Spike TV was right about one thing: Gold bikinis never really do go out of style.
The gathering was organized by Jamin, the self-described "Slavemaster" of Leia's Metal Bikini, a site dedicated to female Star Wars fans who make and model their own handmade versions of that golden, barely-there bikini. But even before the group photo, the power of Slave Leia was obvious, as each "Slave Lady" sauntering through the exhibition hall was stopped every few feet by packs of fanboys anxious to snap a photo (and maybe get a hug) with their dream Leia. What's more, the Slave Leias are a fan phenomenon, with gatherings and photo shoots scheduled for nearly every major fan convention this year.
While we'd really love to see our Leias a bit more empowered in fan culture (read: clothed, and perhaps wielding a laser gun), it's impossible to deny that when George Lucas had Carrie Fisher don her metal bikini after two films full of chaste costume changes, he created an image of female sexuality that has forever emblazoned itself on fans' imaginations. So it's no surprise that in the Nerdy Gras world of Comic-Con, these Slave Leias were the resident fangirls gone wild. —Tammy Oler
Leia's Metal Bikini [Official site]