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"I wouldn't have believed anyone could escape a Hutt's chains with her life, much less take the Hutt's life instead."
"I wouldn't have, either, until we did it."
―Ransolm Casterfo and Leia Organa, discussing footage of the latter weaponizing the chains of her dancing-girl costume[1]

Dancing-girl costumes were a style of performance costume for female dancers that were also worn by some beings who had been enslaved. They consisted of an ornamented bronzium chest harness on top with varying garments on bottom, such as a lashaa silk skirt with jerba leather boots, and they revealed much of the wearer's skin. During the Clone Wars, the costumes were worn by many Twi'lek women in locations where they were enslaved or performed for other beings, including Nal Hutta and Zygerria.

When the Hutt Jabba Desilijic Tiure captured Princess Leia Organa at his palace, he forced her to wear a dancing-girl costume and a chain. She strangled him to death with that chain and then exploded his sail barge as she escaped. A holocube recording of Organa killing the Hutt won her the respect of many Niktos, who dubbed her "the Huttslayer." Later in Senator Organa's life, Rinnrivin Di offered her the footage when she investigated his cartel. Di failed to learn from Jabba's fate and he, too, was killed by Organa.


Dancing-girl costumes were a style of costume worn for performances by female dancers.[1] They were also worn by some beings who had been enslaved by[4] the Zygerrian Slave Empire on the planet[8] Zygerria,[4] by crime lords of the Hutt species[7] on the planet Tatooine,[3] and by the Hutt Clan and the Grand Hutt Council that ruled it[2] on the Hutt-controlled planet[9] Nal Hutta.[2] For such beings, the costume could serve as everyday attire[6] or palace garb.[7]

The costumes were distinguished by their top half,[10] a molded bronzium harness[5] worn on the chest that had metal filigree on the cups and was fastened with cords crisscrossed behind the neck and back.[3] The top was accompanied by variable pieces on the lower half, such as a bikini brief with filigree complementing the harness[11] or a lashaa silk skirt with separate panels suspended from a metal belt.[5]


Pre–civil war[]

When the Hutt Jabba Desilijic Tiure presided over the Boonta Eve Classic podrace on Tatooine[11] in 32 BBY,[12] he brought one of his favorite enslaved singers, the half-Theelin Diva Shaliqua,[13] to his viewing platform in the Mos Espa Grand Arena. She wore a dancing-girl costume consisting of a matching harness and briefs layered over baggy trousers, chunky metal bangles on both wrists, leather armbands on both arms, and a collar.[11]


A chorus girl at Gardulla the Hutt's Palace

During the Clone Wars,[14] in 21 BBY,[15] an advertisement for the underground nightclub Show Girls[16] on the planet[7] Coruscant depicted a female Twi'lek in a dancing-girl costume.[14] When Jabba's uncle Ziro Desilijic Tiure was imprisoned at Gardulla Besadii the Elder's palace on Nal Hutta,[2] three Twi'lek chorus girls wore dancing costumes to perform for the Grand Hutt Council alongside Pa'lowick singer Sy Snootles. Their costumes paired ornamented harnesses with skimpy briefs, thigh-high stockings, collars on their necks,[2] and leather strapping wrapped around their legs and feet to create shoes. They also wore headdresses styled to resemble the heads of specific Hutts,[10] crowned with vibrantly colored feathers. The chorus girl styled after Jabba spoke with Snootles after their performance.[2]

On Zygerria[4] in 20 BBY,[17] an enslaved Twi'lek clad in a dancing-girl costume was displayed in a market on the planet by an Zygerrian enslaver to a fellow Zygerrian and a Neimoidian.[4] Later that year,[18] several Twi'leks wore the outfit in the city of Bilbousa on Nal Hutta, including a pair who escorted a drunken Sy Snootles out of a saloon and others within the saloon who danced on the bartop and conversed with customers.[6]

The Huttslayer[]

"Come on. We gotta get out of here."
―Leia Organa, after killing Jabba the Hutt, to R2-D2[3]

In 4 ABY,[12] the Force-sensitive human Princess Leia Organa infiltrated Jabba's Palace on Tatooine disguised as a bounty hunter,[3] the Ubese male Boushh,[19] who had seemingly captured the Wookiee Chewbacca. Organa and Chewbacca planned to rescue Han Solo from imprisonment in carbonite, and although she freed Solo from his captivity, the Hutt had not been fooled and captured Organa as well.[3]


Using the chains he put on her, Leia Organa strangles and kills Jabba Desilijic Tiure.

Jabba ordered two servants—the musicians Jess and Damaris Viell—to help dress Organa[20] in the garb of a palace slave,[7] which included a maroon lashaa silk skirt suspended from a belt, jerba leather boots, and a bronzium harness.[5] Her hair was braided in a bun high on her head and a single long plait down her back. She also wore hair ornaments, small hoop earrings, a cuff in a spiral design on her upper left arm, a bracelet on her right wrist,[3] and a heavy collar around her neck,[1] all in a metal that matched the harness. The Hutt used a thick chain threaded through the loops on the collar to keep her at his throne.[3]

Organa's twin brother, the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, later entered the palace as well.[3] Although the costume was meant to demean her, she refused to outwardly display her true feelings and maintained her dignity.[21] Sensing her concern for Solo and her anger at her mistreatment by the Hutt,[22] Skywalker had to control his own emotions and avoid the temptation of using the dark side of the Force to murder Jabba.[23] When Jabba dropped Skywalker into the rancor pit below the throne, Organa could only watch as he fought and killed Jabba's pet rancor while the Hutt held her back with the chain. Jabba sentenced Skywalker, Solo, and Chewbacca to be executed by the sarlacc within the Great Pit of Carkoon; he brought Organa alongside him to observe from his sail barge. As the group and their friend Lando Calrissian fought back against the scheduled execution, Organa took advantage of the chaos to knock out the controls to Jabba's throne and throw the chains around the Hutt's neck.[3] Her pure hatred for the Hutt fueled her[1] as she unknowingly drew on the dark side of the Force for the physical strength[21] to strangle Jabba and kill him.[3]

Subsequently, the astromech droid R2-D2 assisted Organa with breaking the chain, and she joined the battle on the barge until Skywalker directed her to point a deck cannon at the deck itself. The pair held onto each other and used a rope to swing to safety on a skiff as the cannon fired and exploded Jabba's barge behind them.[3]

The legend of Leia Organa[]

"Huttslayer. This is what we call you among ourselves, and it is a far greater title than either senator or princess could ever be. The Niktos know you for the warrior you are, Huttslayer, and you will always have friends among us."
―Rinnrivin Di, regarding his holocube footage[1]

By 28 ABY,[24] Senator Leia Organa of the New Republic sometimes had clear memories of sensory details, particularly the weight of the slave collar and the stench of her surroundings, when something reminded her of the events at Jabba's palace. One of those memories struck her while fellow senators discussed whether or not to officially intervene with Kajain'sa'Nikto crime lord Rinnrivin Di's cartel, rumored to be growing as powerful as the Hutts had once been. Organa volunteered to launch an investigation of Di at his base on the planet Bastatha.[1]

Rinnrivin Di

Rinnrivin Di, one of the many Niktos who admired Leia Organa, had obtained footage of the "Huttslayer" event.

When Organa met with Di, he welcomed her and presented her with a holocube containing a recording of Jabba's death. He told her that many Niktos revered her as the Huttslayer, a warrior who rid the galaxy of Jabba the Hutt. He also indicated that very few copies of the footage were in circulation; the Hutts had suppressed it, not wanting proof of their own vulnerability to be passed around. Di told Organa that she would always have allies among the Niktos. He then tried to leverage her reputation for this lawless act to forge an alliance with her, proposing that she turn a blind eye to his cartel's spicerunning and other underworld dealings. Organa later showed the holocube to her colleague, Ransolm Casterfo, while explaining her run-in with Di. Instead of disgust, as she anticipated, Casterfo expressed admiration.[1]

On her next meeting with Di, Organa returned the holocube to him. He played the recording repeatedly and confessed that he envied that Organa had the memory while he had only the recording. Unknown to Di, Organa had slipped a microscopic sensor beacon into the cube, predicting that he would keep the prize close. She used the tracker to narrow down his location on the planet Sibensko and discovered an underwater complex used by his cartel. By then, Di had discovered the tracker and confronted her; once more, he replayed the recording. Despite his vocal admiration, however, Di had failed to learn from the Hutt's fate and underestimated Organa to his peril: she escaped, killing him and the warriors backing him up.[1]

Behind the scenes[]


Dancing-girl costumes first appeared in the third original trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi,[3] which premiered on May 25, 1983.[25] Versions were worn by actress Carrie Fisher and stunt performer Tracey Eddon as Princess Leia Organa. The bikini-style costume consisted of a brassiere, a skirt made with two panels hanging from a belt, boots, matching jewelry, and hair accessories.[3]

Initial design work[]

"I kept drawing it and drawing it and designing it and designing it. It was just George [Lucas], Joe [Johnston], Ralph [McQuarrie], and myself for the longest time, and every time we'd get into that scene I kept pushing that idea. Richard [Marquand] was pushing for it. I think Joe was pushing the idea as well. […] I remember George saying, 'I don't know if you can convince Carrie [Fisher] to do that'."
―Nilo Rodis-Jamero, one of the costume's designers[26]

"I was shocked when I found out it was all George's idea," Fisher told Starlog magazine of the costume and Star Wars creator George Lucas.[27] Although she was critical of the use of gaffer's tape instead of an actual bra under her primary dress in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,[28][29] the original Star Wars film which premiered in 1977,[25] she otherwise liked wearing her costumes in the first two original trilogy films.[26] In Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back,[30] the second film which was released in 1980,[25] she wore a white snow suit that she considered one of her favorites and later said that it had a "gas station attendant" look she enjoyed.[31][32] Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand felt otherwise; he hated the costumes created by John Mollo for The Empire Strikes Back, particularly Leia's Cloud City attire,[33] and thought they did not show how sexy he considered her to be.[26][33][34] Costume designer Nilo Rodis-Jamero also found Fisher attractive and was another early proponent of creating a dancing costume for her to wear in Return of the Jedi. The costume was not actually all Lucas's idea.[26]


1981 concept art, illustrated by Nilo Rodis-Jamero in collaboration with Aggie Guerard Rodgers

From July 13 to July 17, 1981, Return of the Jedi screenplay co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and co-producer Howard G. Kazanjian met with Marquand and Lucas for a story conference in which they plotted out how Leia would end up wearing that costume. As they discussed the characters infiltrating Jabba's palace, Marquand suggested that she could enter in disguise and get discovered, then turned into a dancing girl; he also felt it would also be nice to add a chain. Kasdan asked how the group felt about Leia being the one to kill Jabba, and Marquand and Lucas both suggested that she use the chain to strangle the Hutt. The second draft of the script on September 21 included a description that Leia was "dressed in the skimpy costume of a dancing girl; a chain runs from a manacle/necklace on her neck to her new master, Jabba the Hutt."[33] In the "Slave Leia costume" featurette for the 2011 Blu-ray set Star Wars: The Complete Saga, sculptor and jeweler Richard Miller recalled Lucas telling him the purpose of the costume's skimpiness was to show that Leia had grown up.[35] Interviewed in the July 21, 1983 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Fisher commented that the filmmakers had decided one of the ways to make Leia Organa more feminine was removing her clothing.[36]

In the 1997 book Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, written by Laurent Bouzereau, Rodis-Jamero said that Lucas always talked about a slave-girl outfit, but the artist struggled and kept coming up with clunky concepts reminiscent of Ben-Hur.[37] He met with Richard Miller, who was a friend of Industrial Light & Magic modeler Lorne Peterson[33] and had created bronze sculptures in a style similar to Rodis-Jamero's concepts. Miller created three-dimensional representations and would later sculpt the faux metal components of the costume[26] as the film's credited jeweler.[3] Because Rodis-Jamero designed costumes from a conceptual point of view and did not have practical knowledge, he and co-producer Jim Bloom realized an experienced costume designer would be needed to execute any designs.[26]


Marilee Heyer's 1981 illustration for Paul LeBlanc's hair design

Aggie Guerard Rodgers, who had previously worked with Lucas on his films American Graffiti and More American Graffiti, was hired[26] in fall 1981.[33] Rodis-Jamero and Rodgers collaborated to produce sketches of their concepts, with the former creating the actual illustrations.[26] Lucas specifically requested that they create a bikini, according to Rodgers.[38] She envisioned having twenty-five[26] or forty-five yards of silk flowing through the air, but it was not feasible.[33] The paintings of Frank Frazetta, one of Lucas's favorite artists, were an inspiration for her.[26] Although she has said that he had requested a Frazetta-inspired costume,[38] she was also quoted in J. W. Rinzler's 2013 book The Making of Return of the Jedi as saying Lucas did not tell her "Frank Frazetta" when designing the costume.[33] Leia's hairstyle was designed by Paul LeBlanc[39] as one of the hairdressers for the film,[3] along with Patricia McDermott, while artist Marilee Heyer illustrated LeBlanc's designs.[40]

Costume fitting and construction[]

"It wasn't my choice. When he showed me the outfit, I didn't—I thought he was kidding, and it made me very nervous. And, you know, they wouldn't let me—I had to sit very straight 'cause I couldn't have lines in the side of—on my sides, you know, like a little crease. No creases were allowed. So I had to sit very, very rigid straight."
―Carrie Fisher, asked about the costume's appearance[41]

Jeweler Richard Miller describes the structural components of the costume.

Lucas had no objections to the costume concept but was doubtful that Fisher could be convinced to wear it. Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, a 2014 reference book written by Brandon Alinger, states that she did not hesitate;[26] Fisher's own accounts differ. About two months before filming began,[42] Lucas invited Fisher to San Francisco to show her a picture of the costume.[43] She later described herself as "aghast,"[44] thinking at first that he was kidding,[41][45] and she was very nervous about it.[41] For A New Hope, she had been required to lose weight, while for The Empire Strikes Back, she was told to gain.[28] Believing Lucas had shown her the picture to successfully frighten her into exercising,[43] she grew preoccupied with how she would look in the costume.[45] Fisher experienced body dysmorphia throughout her life.[32][46]

The so-called "metal bikini" was not made of metal.[26][35][47] Instead of making a full-body or torso cast of Fisher, which Miller described as an extremely uncomfortable process that required getting naked and having plaster thrown on one's body, he utilized a wax casting technique used in bronze sculpting. The costume components were first sculpted in soft wax around bendable armature wire at his home studio, placed in an ice chest, and transported to Lucas's Park Way house. Fisher's friend and fellow actress Penny Marshall accompanied her there for the fitting with Rodis-Jamero, who explained the process to Fisher. By wearing the cold wax against her bare skin, her body heat warmed and softened the wax so she could shape it for a custom fit before he placed the structures back in the ice chest. Miller then used the wax to create molds and cast the final structural components in orange-colored, dense but flexible urethane rubber for Fisher to wear and a softer, more flexible latex rubber for Tracey Eddon's stunt version. The paint for the faux metal elements was touched up during filming with Treasure Gold polish.[26]


In the decades since filming, the flaking gold paint on the faux metal elements has exposed the urethane rubber.

The finished costume was made of silk, painted resin, leather, and rubber.[47] At a cost of $8,000, Miller produced a total of three sets of costume castings to have "one to use, one to lose, and one to break." When the castings were sent to ILM's San Rafael wardrobe shop, Rodgers's team finalized the costume with fabric elements, and added leather linings[26] to the backs of the structural pieces to improve its wearability for Fisher.[35] One of Miller's students at the College of Marin made the earrings, and boot maker John Shrader made the suede boots to which Miller added sculptural filigree.[26]

Fisher arrived in England shortly after New Year's Day in 1982 for makeup and costume fittings prior to the beginning of filming at Elstree Studios.[33] Due to Fisher's weight loss since the initial fitting, the costume did not have the intended snug fit. Miller made a replacement to send to England,[35] but he was never fully satisfied with its appearance in the film. Miller had designed the bra's support cords to be crossed in front, but the on-set dressers instead crossed them in the back, telling Miller that it had looked too confining.[26]



"The thing that killed me about this setup was, Okay you put me in this bathing suit—but then I have to stop talking from here on? Strip me—and I'm silent! I am defiant with everyone else—Tarkin, Darth Vader—but this slug really shuts me up. Any defiance I had in the other movies—all gone."
―Carrie Fisher, regarding Leia Organa's characterization in the costume[33]

Carrie Fisher posing in her dancing-girl costume on the set of Return of the Jedi.

"It was a problem keeping it in place," Fisher said in the twenty-sixth issue of Bantha Tracks, published in fall 1984. "It drove the wardrobe person nuts."[48] Although not made of genuine metal,[26] the costume still had little flexibility on Fisher and did not move with her body. Surrounded by a predominantly male cast and crew, she was initially embarrassed before eventually finding that "dignity was out of the question." At first, a prop man would check after shots to see if the top had slipped, and she then began checking herself between takes and would be asked about her breasts before they resumed filming.[49] She later made light of it to Star Wars Insider magazine: "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."[50]

Uncredited wardrobe assistant Janet Lucas-Wakely, who dressed Fisher throughout filming, said Fisher was happy in her princess dress and fighting gear but hated the dancing costume and was uncomfortable in it.[26] The throne room shoots at Elstree Studios were freezing cold,[27] but the more confined studio set for Jabba's sail barge grew so hot from the lighting that Fisher may have been the only one relatively comfortable with the temperature while the fully covered performers and crew struggled with the heat.[33]

Fisher enjoyed joking around with Jabba's puppeteers during downtime;[49] according to Marquand, Fisher loved Jabba during filming and would tell the crew operating the puppet's hand to pull the chain more taut so she would know how Leia felt.[33] She later remarked that Leia's character changed when put in the costume, going from unafraid of Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin to barely speaking while chained by the Hutt, despite Fisher attempting to ad lib lines. In her interview from the September 1983 issue of Starburst magazine, she commented, "At that point I was amazed that Leia would just sit there, in those skimpy clothes, saying practically nothing. The only way they could justify that, I told them, was if Jabba pulled my chains real tight so I couldn't speak. I couldn't see my character not talking."[51] Frustrated that Leia had changed from defiant to silent in the costume, Fisher said that she decided to become a writer while shooting the palace scenes.[33]

In addition to her weight loss, Fisher was required to sit up straight in front of Jabba so that she would not have lines or wrinkles around her waist from bending or moving.[43] The discomfort of maintaining the rigid posture while wearing the costume contributed to her satisfaction in the scene where Leia strangled and killed Jabba with the chain.[41] She was asked if she wanted a stunt double to do the scene but said she really wanted to kill Jabba herself.[33]

CarrieFisher and TraceyEddon

Carrie Fisher and stunt double Tracey Eddon, who were not supposed to be tanned, sunbathed in the Yuma Desert.

The desert exterior scenes were filmed outside of Yuma, Arizona in April 1982.[33] In the downtime between filming, Fisher and Eddon would sunbathe in their costumes. Fisher told Starlog it angered the crew as they were not supposed to be tanned;[27] she would later say they were popular with the crew during those times.[33] Sunbathing gave her and Eddon a chance to have fun while feeling ridiculous in their costumes,[27] and she would fondly recall decades later that they were "like the Doublemint Intergalactic Twins."[52]

Fisher wore the costume with a woven cloak over it and black goggles for a sandstorm scene that was filmed for Return of the Jedi but ultimately deleted.[26] Sometime during the production, Fisher also wore the costume while portraying herself in footage shot for the unfinished mockumentary Return of the Ewok. The short film would have starred Warwick Davis as his Ewok character, Wicket Wystri Warrick. Davis shared a clip of Fisher's scene at the 2016 Celebration Europe convention. In it, Wicket asks the costumed Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Fisher where the Ewoks were supposed to report for filming Revenge of the Jedi.[42]



Rolling Stone cover photograph by Aaron Rapoport

While in England in February 1982, Fisher did a promotional photoshoot wearing her various Return of the Jedi costumes, including the dancing-girl costume. Those and other photographs of Fisher in the bikini were subsequently utilized in marketing for the film. Multiple artists also created poster concept art. Two proposals by John Alvin rendered the costume with a bikini bottom rather than a skirt. Ultimately, Japanese-American Kazuhiko Sano's artwork became the "Style B" poster, with Leia centered in the bottom half.[33]

In 1983, a production still of Leia in the costume was featured on the cover of People magazine's June 6 issue, which included an interview with Fisher.[49] She did a beach photo shoot with Aaron Rapoport for Rolling Stone, and the photographs were featured on the cover and in an interview with Fisher for the July 1983 issue. The cover depicts her as Leia Organa sitting on a beach towel alongside an Ewok, Darth Vader holding a boombox, and a Gamorrean guard holding a beach ball.[36] Fisher later shared during convention panels, such as her "Date with a Princess" at Celebration VI in 2012, that she really liked doing the photo shoot.[52]

Reception and legacy[]

By Carrie Fisher[]

"Listen! I am not a sex symbol, so that's an opinion of someone. I don't share that."
"I don't think that's the right—"
"Word for it? Well, you should fight for your outfit. Don't be a slave like I was."
"All right, I'll fight."
"You keep fighting against that slave outfit."
―Carrie Fisher and Daisy Ridley, with the former interviewing the latter[53]

Fisher sometimes expressed pride looking back at how she had appeared in the costume,[32][50] but during the time that she wore it and for years later, she felt otherwise. In 2011, she was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and discussed becoming a spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight loss program, saying, "I didn't even realize at the time that I was sort of the Star Wars pin-up, the geek pin-up. I thought I was fat then, so now finally it all caught up with me."[54] Later that year, she wrote in her memoir Shockaholic that reports of her death would include "a picture of a stern-looking girl wearing some kind of metal bikini lounging on a giant drooling squid."[55]

Carrie and Gary Fisher wax

Carrie and her beloved dog Gary Fisher posed with her wax figure at Madame Tussauds in May 2016.

At Celebration Anaheim in 2015, Fisher told host James Arnold Taylor that she disliked being regarded as a centerfold in an iconic bathing suit and that she had not thought of herself that way while wearing it.[45] Also in that year, she advised her sequel trilogy co-star Daisy Ridley, who portrayed Rey, to fight if asked to wear similar costumes.[53]

Fisher wrote about her faux metal "Jabba Killer" bikini in her final memoir, The Princess Diarist,[44] which was published on November 22, 2016,[56] several weeks before her death on December 27.[57] She commented on cosplaying at conventions by women and men who looked fantastic in the costume and wrote that killing Jabba the Hutt was her favorite moment of her personal film history. One of her anecdotes was about her wax figure at Madame Tussauds, which she visited in May of that year with her emotional support dog, Gary Fisher. In her closing remarks, she wrote that if she had never been Princess Leia, she would "[n]ever have been asked if I thought I'd been objectified by silently wearing a gold bikini, while seated on a giant laughing cruel slug, while everyone chatted gaily around me."[44]

In popular culture[]

"I looked at [Patricia McDermott] aghast, with much like the expression I used when shown the sketches of the metal bikini. The one I wore to kill Jabba (my favorite moment in my own personal film history), which I highly recommend your doing: find an equivalent of killing a giant space slug in your head and celebrate that. It works wonders when I'm plagued by dark images of my hairy earphones."
―Carrie Fisher, on drawing strength from filming the death of Jabba[44]

The "metal bikini" or "Slave Leia" look has been described as a fan favorite and a pop culture icon.[58] Articles in science fiction publications shortly after the theatrical release were already remarking favorably on the costume and Fisher's appearance in it,[59] and the look became iconic. Interviews with her in licensed works often highlighted the costume and asked her about it.[48][60] In 1984, Rodgers and Rodis-Jamero won the Best Costumes award at the 11th Saturn Awards for their work on Return of the Jedi, including the dancing-girl costume.[61] Fan reactions to the costume as appealing have been framed as regarding Leia as a passive sex object and ignoring the story context that the character was angry and actively got revenge on Jabba.[62] In Star Wars Insider, author Tricia Barr wrote, "Fisher vividly channels the emotions of a woman using the chains of captivity to slay the grotesque Jabba to gain freedom, and most women who cosplay as slave Leia speak of feeling empowered."[63]

In broader popular culture, Leia's dancing-girl costume and others inspired by it have appeared in episodes of the television series Friends,[64] Chuck,[65] and Bring Back…;[66] the competition show Dancing with the Stars[67] and the game show Deal or No Deal;[68] and the animated series Family Guy,[69][70] American Dad!,[71] and two Star Wars–themed Robot Chicken specials.[72][73] They have also appeared in the video game World of Warcraft[74] and the film Fanboys.[75]

As Fisher had predicted, her obituaries highlighted her appearance in Leia's bikini costume, including on the sports blog Deadspin,[76] the Los Angeles Times newspaper,[77] and two articles in the trade journal The Hollywood Reporter.[58][78] Some online obituaries for hairdresser Paul LeBlanc in 2019, such as one on SYFY Wire,[39] and for jeweler Richard Miller in 2022, including The Hollywood Reporter[79] and Deadline Hollywood,[80] emphasized their work on Leia's dancing-girl costume and included photographs of Carrie Fisher in it.[39][79]

In Star Wars[]

Diva Shaliqua Episode I Snapshot

Behind the scenes photograph of an extra portraying Diva Shaliqua

A dancing-girl costume appeared in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, the first prequel trilogy film[11] which opened on May 19, 1999.[25] It was worn by an uncredited extra[11] whose character was later identified as Diva Shaliqua.[81] The Jedi Temple Archives special feature for the DVD set Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three includes concept art for the chorus girls seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars third season episode "Hunt for Ziro,"[10] which first aired on November 12, 2010.[82] The art notes that their attire is "similar to slave Leia bikini."[10] Other versions of the costume appeared throughout the Star Wars Legends continuity, including in comic books[83] and multiple video games.[84][85][86][87] Leia's version also appears throughout the new canon continuity established on April 25, 2014[88] and in non-canonical materials released since the continuity split; for instance, she wore it in the mobile game Star Wars: Galactic Defense,[89] released on October 30 of that year,[90] as an unlockable "melee champion" that players could deploy into a battlefield.[89] Artist Diego Zúñiga created concept art for the design[91] while David Marín illustrated the character's in-game key art.[92]

The film-used costume was exhibited as part of Star Wars: The Magic of Myth at the National Air and Space Museum from 1997 to 1999 before going on tour with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.[93] It was the put on display in Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition.[94] The Smithsonian Institution exhibited it on tour again from 2015 to 2018 as part of Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume.[95]

In 2015, Richard Miller put a set-used costume, design materials, and his concept sculpts up as an auction lot in a film memorabilia auction.[96] The costume was sent back to Miller and not used in filming because it did not fit Fisher's changed measurements. The winning bidder was Gus Lopez, a Star Wars collector and author of articles on collecting who operates The Star Wars Collectors Archive website. He wrote an article about his acquisition for StarWars.com[97] and posted photographs of the various items on his website.[98]

Controversy about merchandise[]

"The father who flipped out about it, 'What am I going to tell my kid about why she's in that outfit?' Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn't like it. And then I took it off. Backstage."
―Carrie Fisher, in Wall Street Journal[46]

The news station FOX 29 Philadelphia ran a story on July 13, 2015 titled "Star Wars Action Figure Has Parents Furious" about a father who was shocked that stores were selling Hasbro's[99] "Princess Leia (Slave Outfit)" action figure, which had been released in 2013 as part of Star Wars: The Black Series.[100] The story went viral[101] and led to rumors that Disney would be phasing out all imagery and merchandise featuring "Slave Leia," including comic book artist J. Scott Campbell alleging that Disney was actively in the process of doing so.[102] When asked to comment, Fisher disagreed with the idea of eliminating it. In the newspaper The Wall Street Journal, she addressed a specific complaint regarding how parents could explain to their children why Leia wore it: the bikini and chain were not her choice, but she used the latter to kill Jabba and then removed the former.[46] She made similar comments to The Daily Beast[32] and the Los Angeles Times.[101]

An interview with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy in the February 2016 issue of Vanity Fair magazine addressed the merchandise rumors, saying that Disney was not banning the bikini's image from future Star Wars paraphernalia. The article noted that Kennedy had a statuette outside her office of the Return of the Jedi cast, including Leia in the costume. Kennedy doubted Lucas would put Leia in a bikini if the film were made in more recent times. Mellody Hobson, Lucas's wife, disagreed with Kennedy; she said, "George is not apologetic about that bikini," and added, "He thinks that was a very important scene. He would probably do the same thing today. He is not apologetic at all."[103]

Jabba choking Luke

In "Gambit on Geonosis," LEGO versions of Leia Organa and C-3PO try to stop Jabba the Hutt from choking on Luke Skywalker.

Contrary to the rumors that began in 2015, Disney continued depicting Leia wearing the costume. Later that year, it appeared on July 28[104] in the Return of the Jedi Little Golden Book by author Geof Smith and illustrator Ron Cohee,[105] as well as in "Gambit on Geonosis," the finale of the non-canonical Disney XD television series LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales[106] that first aired on November 2.[107] Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures, an animated microseries adapting stories from the Star Wars films, depicted Leia wearing the attire in episodes that debuted on StarWarsKids.com in 2019: "Luke vs. Jabba - Sail Barge Escape" on May 10[108] and "Luke vs. the Rancor - Wrath of the Rancor" on May 31.[109] The 2022 video game LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga also includes Leia wearing the costume.[110]

Canonizing the Huttslayer[]

"Not only did I like recasting that outfit as a memory of Leia being really strong and kick-ass, but think about it—for a human being to kill a Hutt with her bare hands? That's unbelievable. Anybody who would be able to pull that off would be remembered for it. That would be legend."
―Claudia Gray, on reframing "Slave Leia" as "Huttslayer"[111]
SW Bloodline cover

Bloodline by Claudia Gray canonized the fanon nickname "Huttslayer" and identified the outfit as a "dancing-girl costume."

During the peak of the merchandising controversy, a Twitter user with the pseudonym Angie P.[112] called for Leia to be known as the "Huttslayer" instead of "Slave Leia."[113] The 2016 novel Bloodline, written by Claudia Gray, canonized the term "Huttslayer."[1] Gray credited Angie P. for bringing the fanon term to her attention and said she noticed it around the time she was writing that section of the book. Rather than referring to it in Bloodline as a slave outfit, she identified it as a dancing-girl costume and treated Leia's actions in the Huttslayer outfit as legendary in-universe.[111]

The 2018 DK Publishing reference book Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition, written by Pablo Hidalgo and David Reynolds and published on September 18,[114] includes the costume on a page that largely matches[5] the original version from the 1998 reference book Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. However, the updated version changes the label "Slave girl harness" and the heading "Jabba's Slave"[115] to "Bronzium harness" and "Huttslayer," respectively.[5]

Details disputed by Carrie Fisher[]

On Twitter in 2015, Fisher responded to a request by the user @hamstachick to fact-check the article[116] "15 Interesting Facts About the Slave Leia Costume [Movies]," which was published in 2014 by The Geek Twins blog.[117] In a follow-up to Fisher's tweet, The Geek Twins published a new article that listed their sources for the prior article, including[118] the 2006 article "Star Wars Secrets: Leia's Teeny Bikini" on the website IGN[119] and a "Slave Leia costume" article on the Star Wars fan wiki Wookieepedia.[120] From the details cited to Wookieepedia, Fisher said it was not true that a moldmaker was replaced when he was too excited about prospectively making a mold of her torso. Another she indicated was not true was an item stating two things: her being unhappy with the costume and calling it "what supermodels will eventually wear in the seventh ring of hell."[118] As the quoted phrase came from a 1999 Newsweek magazine article written by Fisher,[121] it was unclear to The Geek Twins what aspect of the two-part claim Fisher considered untrue.[118]

Fisher also responded that IGN's article was not true when it claimed[118] one wardrobe assistant checked after each take to make sure Fisher's breasts had not fallen out and the costume was created because she complained that her previous Star Wars costumes left people unable to tell "she was a woman" in them.[119] Based on search engine results, the latter item may have originated with IGN's article before spreading to other publications and websites,[122] such as Wookieepedia.[120]


Explore all of Wookieepedia's images for this article subject.

Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Bloodline
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Hunt for Ziro"
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Slaves of the Republic"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Friends and Enemies"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  8. StarWars-DatabankII Zygerria in the Databank (backup link)
  9. StarWars-DatabankII Nal Hutta in the Databank (backup link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  12. 12.0 12.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  13. Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z
  14. 14.0 14.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Lethal Trackdown"
  15. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of "Lethal Trackdown" to 21 BBY.
  16. StarWars "Lethal Trackdown" Concept Art Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (slide 9)
  17. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of "Slaves of the Republic" to 20 BBY.
  18. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of "Friends and Enemies" to 20 BBY.
  19. ToppsDigitalLogo Star Wars: Card Trader (Card: Boushh - Bounty Hunter - Base Series 1)
  20. "Dune Sea Songs of Salt and Moonlight" — From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi
  21. 21.0 21.1 Skywalker: A Family at War
  22. AltayaCite "The Battle of Hoth and the Second Death Star" — Star Wars Encyclopedia
  23. Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
  24. The Star Wars Book establishes that events of the novel Bloodline occur twenty-eight years after those of the Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas date to the 0 ABY; therefore, Bloodline occurs in 28 ABY.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Star Wars Year By Year: A Visual History, New Edition
  26. 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 26.11 26.12 26.13 26.14 26.15 26.16 26.17 26.18 Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy
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  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 "Carrie Fisher's Crazy 'Star Wars' Ride: Cocaine, the Rolling Stones, and That Slave Bikini" by Stern, Marlow on The Daily Beast (December 8, 2015) (archived from the original on June 5, 2017)
  33. 33.00 33.01 33.02 33.03 33.04 33.05 33.06 33.07 33.08 33.09 33.10 33.11 33.12 33.13 33.14 33.15 The Making of Return of the Jedi
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  36. 36.0 36.1 Caldwell, Carol. "Carrie Fisher: A Few Words on Princess Leia, Fame and Feminism". Rolling Stone Wenner, Jann (managing editor and publisher), no. 400/401, 1983-07-21. ISSN 0035-791X. "From the first film, she was just a soldier, front line and center. The only way they knew to make the character strong was to make her angry. In Return of the Jedi, she gets to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate. But let's not forget that these movies are basically boys' fantasies. So the other way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her clothes." (web archive)
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  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 SWYTlogo Carrie Fisher Interview with StarWars.com | Star Wars Celebration Anaheim on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (April 29, 2015) (backup link)  (Posted on StarWars.com) "I looked at that costume when [George Lucas] showed it to me and I thought: A. he's joking, B. how do I—how am I gonna look in that, how am I gonna—I have to make myself look better to be able to wear that, and then I got preoccupied with that." […] "The worst thing about it, though, is they have these sites where they take people that were—what is that called, when you're a—sex! No, centerfold." […] "And so they did all these people that had iconic bathing suits and I'm there with, like, Raquel Welch—my peer—and Brigitte Bardot—also someone I identity with strongly. That crowd." […] "And that, I didn't like that, because you have to live up to something there, and I forget what it is, but it wasn't something I was really focused on in that way."
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  53. 53.0 53.1 "Daisy Ridley" by Fisher, Carrie on Interview (October 28, 2015) (archived from the original on December 3, 2015)
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  65. "Chuck Versus the Sandworm." Chuck, written by Phil Klemmer, directed by Robert Duncan McNeill, Warner Bros., 2007.
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  68. Deal or No Deal, presented by Howie Mandel, season 3, episode 60, Banijay, 2008.
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  82. StarWars "Hunt for Ziro" Episode Guide | The Clone Wars on StarWars.com (backup link)
  83. Star Wars: Jango Fett
  84. SWG logo sm Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided — Item: "Metal Bikini" and "Extremely Revealing Skirt"
  85. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  86. SWTOR mini Star Wars: The Old Republic — Item: "Slave Girl Hat," "Slave Girl Top," "Slave Girl Bottom," "Slave Girl Slippers," and "Slave Girl Bracelets" from Gandra in Slippery Slopes Cantina
  87. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
  88. StarWars The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page on StarWars.com (backup link)
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  91. ArtStation-Logo "Star Wars: Galactic Defense" Characters on Diego Zúñiga's profile on ArtStation (content now obsolete; backup link)
  92. ArtStation-Logo Star Wars: Galactic Defense on David Marín's profile on ArtStation (backup link)
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  94. SWInsider "Launch Pad" — Star Wars Insider 150
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  101. 101.0 101.1 "The women of 'Star Wars' speak out about their new Empire" by Woerner, Meredith on Los Angeles Times (December 4, 2015): "How about telling his daughter that the character is wearing that outfit not because she's chosen to wear it. She's been forced to wear it. She's a prisoner of a giant testicle who has a lot of saliva going on and she does not want to wear that thing and it's ultimately that chain, which you're now indicating is some sort of accessory to S&M, that is used to kill the giant saliva testicle…. That's asinine." (archived from the original on December 5, 2015)
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  108. Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures logo Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures — "Luke vs. Jabba - Sail Barge Escape"
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  122. Search results reviewed include:

External links[]