Sex & Dating | May 4, 2023 1:13 pm

The Princess Leia Slave Fetish Lives On

May the 4th be with you in the bedroom tonight

princess leia in slave costume chained to jaba the hut
We can't blame anyone for being turned on by Carrie Fisher in this scene
Lucasfilm Ltd

There are two types of people in this world: those who developed a Princess Leia slave fetish while watching Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and those who developed the same fetish 13 years later while watching Jennifer Aniston cosplay as Carrie Fisher in Friends. Though undeniably sexy, the original and iconic image of Princess Leia chained to a giant slug and clad in a gold bikini has been controversial since it was first introduced to Star Wars fans in 1983. Critics claim it reduced an otherwise strong, independent and thoroughly clothed female leading character to little more than a sex object.

But in spite of the polarization, there are plenty of Ross Gellers out there whose greatest sexual fantasy involves a captive Leia figure. And it seems the internet’s fetish workers are listening, as each year on May the 4th, they celebrate the unofficial Star Wars holiday by breaking out the snail braids and gold bikinis in full force

At its core, Star Wars is a timeless story of rebellion and the struggle for good versus evil. When the Star Wars franchise first hit the big screen in 1977, Leia, who blogger Tricia Barr once called “the gold standard when it comes to portraying strong female heroines,” was instantly adopted as a hero for young girls and women. But some, including Fisher herself, worried Leia’s status as a feminist icon and force for justice was cheapened by her sexuality, expressing discomfort with the slave portrayal.

In a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, Fisher cautioned viewers of the film to remember that “these movies are basically boys’ fantasies,” and the easiest way to make Leia “more female” in the eyes of Star Wars fans was to “have her take her clothes off.” 

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In 2015, The Guardian described Leia’s slave sequence with Jabba the Hut as “a not-even-concealed Orientalist harem fantasy, complete with desert, chuckling dissipated bloated pasha and hapless princess decked out in fetish wear and chains.” It was, the writer argued, “a bit of soft-core porn dropped in the middle of a kids’ adventure story.” 

Now, 40 years since its debut, gold bikini cosplay isn’t going anywhere — and a sweep of trending Star Wars–adjacent tweets shows the slave Leia fetish is alive and well. Tucked into all the celebratory vintage snaps of Fisher on set in the long, white robes donned by Leia in most of her other scenes, there are saucy bikini-clad selfies and cheeky plugs for OnlyFans accounts advertising custom Leia-themed shows. 

Beyond the scope of sci-fi nerds, rape and slave fantasies are common among people of all genders and backgrounds. And as long as they remain fantasies — or they’re acted out in consensual role-play settings between adults — there’s nothing inherently wrong about getting turned on by these obviously fictionalized images from Star Wars. Besides, Leia was an intelligent, confident and capable woman first, who just so happened to look amazing in a metal bikini. And isn’t that pretty much everyone’s fantasy?