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Politically correcting our favorite movies


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I'll play along--but I have to ask.   Why is it BS? Why is it bad that we're more sensitive.   I'm sure the answer is "because it ruins the funny", ands I don't disagree. But if it isn't funny to the

I think that there are two separate issues:   1) Types of things being acceptable in the past but not making it into modern movies   2) Erasing content from old movies.   In the case of 1, that's li

If you're American, Stevil, you live in a society founded by puritans. It's never really been washed out of the fabric of US culture. That's why we're having this discussion. Keep that in mind.   In

On the other hand, I can understand why it's sexist. No way do they do that with a male character. What if Jabba had been a female and instead of keeping Han on a wall frozen in carbonite she had defrosted him, put him in a speedo and kept him by her side in a neck chain?

Nanci? Opinions?

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The problematic aspect of Slave Leia isn't that it exists, it's fandom's fetishization of it. She was taken as a prisoner and put in a slave outfit by a gross gangster who she later killed. On the surface, it's fine; she's a hero and you're rooting for her to escape and when she kills Jabba you want to punch your fist in the air and let out a war cry. It should be a super empowering moment, right? Except it became a masturbatory fantasy for pubescent boys (and fantasies they look back fondly on as adults) and one of Leia's iconic outfits, to the point where you'd often find her in the slave costume rather than her white dress and buns. Also, it's never addressed in the movie; not even a passing comment by Leia about how much she hated that outfit or something. And shouldn't Luke and Han and Chewie and even Lando be outraged by it? Wouldn't you be super pissed if a woman you cared about was forced to wear a slave outfit against her will? Shouldn't the male audience be outraged on her behalf, not turned on by it?

 

But no, it's seen by many people as the moment when Princess Leia became a woman or some other such BS. That's why it bothers me.

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Except it became a masturbatory fantasy for pubescent boys (and fantasies they look back fondly on as adults)

 

I think the masturbatory fantasies of pubescent boys fall strictly under the category of things that we have no control over and that we shouldn't think too hard about.

 

They saw exposed skin and whipped it out. End of story.

 

 

 

And shouldn't Luke and Han and Chewie and even Lando be outraged by it? Wouldn't you be super pissed if a woman you cared about was forced to wear a slave outfit against her will?

 

Leaving aside that Han was blind, Lando was undercover, and Luke was a Jedi, what more do you want than killing everyone in the room?

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I've always thought that the metal bikini was out of place for a Star Wars movie, especially one that featured Ewoks. The films were predominately geared towards children, so I can only assume that the purpose of sexing Leia up was to appeal to adults, which is strange considering they knew the movie was going to make a killing anyway.

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Guest Robin

Generally it should be safe to say that kids don't look at Slave Leia and think that she's all sexed up now. Instead the reaction is likely "whatever meh" then "yay!" when the heroic action restarts.

 

Plus as Nanci adequately put it, storywise the villain does that to Leia. Leia is visibly disgusted during the "enslavement", the story makes sure she gets hers over the villain (granted more could have been done but that's modern POV hindsight). Fans then took the outfit (arguably naturally so, perhaps also intertwine-ably unfortunately so) to that fetished iconic level.

 

BTW Leia was just as sexed up in her first appearance, being covered in her gown didn't stop anyone of the mindset from noticing the no-bra jiggles and super glossed lips. Star Wars has always had sex appeal; ANH Han is on display with his second skin pants and shirt undone to the bottom of his pecs.

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Guest Robin

And we're just going to assume anything before 1965 gets a pass for its sexism and racism right? My friend covets her copy of White Christmas on VHS she got from Target in the 90s cause it has the blackface number. She loves ruining Christmases.

 

And even if it makes me terrible the Jive talk is classic.

 

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY-- SEE A BROAD AND GET ALL BOOTY-EYE'D, LAY EM DOWN AND SMACK EM YACK EM!

White Christmas doesn't have blackface, that's Holiday Inn. Understandable confusion as the song White Christmas originates in Holiday Inn.

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Guest Robin

 

 

How about a movie like 1986's Soul Man? It's supposed to be a commentary on racism but somehow I doubt that would be a film you could make today.

We're still trying to figure out how that one got made in 1986.

This type of humor gets made even "now", 2004's White Girls uses the same setup.

 

Whoopi Goldberg (not that she's a Modern Socrates) once proposed in her own stand up that the acceptability of race based humor is probably in it's design; essentially breaking it down to whether it's inclusive observation or born from superiority.

 

Other things to consider, which isn't to allow for carte blanche pardoning, is context.

 

e.g. In Police Academy there are homophobic and racist jokes. Does it matter at all that the antagonists make the homophobic and racists jokes, then in turn the protagonists rebuke those characters? Homophobia is treated by sending the homophobics to a gay bar. Also Mahoney has no issue with being the butt of an additional gay joke when Lassard believes Mahoney gave him a BJ, Mahoney just smiles it off like so what. The racism against Hooks is immediately and physically dealt with in return by Hightower.

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Fans then took the outfit (arguably naturally so, perhaps also intertwine-ably unfortunately so) to that fetished iconic level.

 

For what it's worth, I do question how many people actually have this thing and how much of it is just that it reached the national consciousness thanks to a Friends episode a dozen years after the movie came out. It's sort of become a "Princess Leia in a bikini amiright?" type of deal. I mean, most of the people who talk about Leia's metal bikini these days are way too young to have actually had a crush on the teenage Carrie Fisher that starred in the first movie, much less aroused by a few minutes worth of bikini. Most of us grew up with Leia in that bikini and never even thought twice about it until we got old enough to make reference to it.

 

 

 

This type of humor gets made even "now", 2004's White Girls uses the same setup.

 

Black comedians get away with a lot more race-based humor.

 

Not defending it, as it frankly points to some troubling social issues, but socially it's not the same.

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I've been to five Star Wars Celebrations and numerous Dragon Cons. Trust me, it's not just because of a Friends episode.

 

Also, the idea that teenage boys (and MEN, let's not kid ourselves) were turned on by someone taken as a slave is probably evidence that the movie should have done a better job portraying it as horrifying? Just an idea.

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Guest Robin

I am absolutely certain and agree that there are people turned on by the idea of Leia as a sex slave, however is it fair of us to postulate the concept of a sex slave was what was found to be desirable by all those enamored with the metal bikini?

 

I also agree, Nanci (this is THT btw not some noob reading Seth's use of your name and mimicking it, hope that wasn't offensive), anyway I also agree that more could have and perhaps should have been done in the film to show what happened was disgusting. Luke literally asking if Leia was okay or something instead of the glances they give each other. All that is hindsight though and looking at the film with my own kids it's made note of that Jabba is evil, which is of course supported visually by the heroes fighting Jabba and also of course by Jabba just murdering people via Rancor Pit etc.

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I've been to five Star Wars Celebrations and numerous Dragon Cons. Trust me, it's not just because of a Friends episode.

 

The proliferation of it well beyond anyone who was old enough at the time does more to validate my point, not dismiss it. It's a cultural thing, not an actual fetish anymore. Cosplayers put it on because it's sure to be recognized.

 

 

 

Also, the idea that teenage boys (and MEN, let's not kid ourselves) were turned on by someone taken as a slave is probably evidence that the movie should have done a better job portraying it as horrifying? Just an idea.

 

You mean like Jabba tossing one of his slaves into the Rancor pit to be eaten alive for his amusement?

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I think she means something to Leia, not a throwaway character. Granted Luke watched his foster parents burn and moved on pretty quick-- so emotional scarring isn't something overly stressed in Star Wars, but like Robin said-- even something little to acknowledge it.

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I have to ask what's wrong with young boys or men having fantasies? Next thing you'll be telling me it's only males who have them? How many women bought books or went the cinema to see 50 Shades of Torture Porn again?

 

You point out Mara that you've been to many conventions, but is it not true that it's women wearing the Slave Leia Bikini costumes? Are they not perpetuating this fantasy some 33 years later? It also asks the question why they chose to wear that particular costume? Was it to please men in some way? Or did they actually want to wear it because it means something??

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Lol, this is what I get when trying to talk feminism here. I should know better.

 

Stevil, there is nothing wrong with having fantasies. I don't know where you would have gotten that from my posts. I do think it's kind of gross to be turned on by someone who is taken as a sex slave against her will without examining that. If you're turned on by the gold bikini, at least acknowledge that it's problematic.

 

If you read some discourse about 50 Shades, you'll see that many people had problems with it because it depicted an abusive relationship, not actual BDSM that's based on consent and respect. As for other types of romance books, I read them and like them, because the relationships are based on consent and respect. And they're well-written.

 

Women choose to wear the Slave Leia costume for many reasons. And here's the thing: they CHOOSE to do it. Leia didn't.

 

 

 

I'm going back to Driver's initial comment because I can see where the rest of this conversation is gonna go. Having Han as a sex slave would not have been okay, but it also wouldn't happen because men aren't objectified in movies the way women are. And even if there is a bit of female gaze (see: Chris Hemsworth), the male character is still the focus of the story and still has agency.

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Guest Robin

How do we know that Leia didn't choose to wear the Slave Outfit? Considering the rescue plan seemed to be made up of; If this occurs do this, if that occurs this next person does this, if that person has this happen then this happens.

 

I mean Lando is just watching, the droids and Chewbacca are sold into slavery too by the way. You know, this all is starting to look more and more like a prank by Luke than anything.

 

;-)

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How do we know that Leia didn't choose to wear the Slave Outfit? Considering the rescue plan seemed to be made up of; If this occurs do this, if that occurs this next person does this, if that person has this happen then this happens.

Because that would require George Lucas to think with some nuance. :p

 

And, if that is the case, it would have been nice to have that in the movie.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

The problematic aspect of Slave Leia isn't that it exists, it's fandom's fetishization of it. She was taken as a prisoner and put in a slave outfit by a gross gangster who she later killed. On the surface, it's fine; she's a hero and you're rooting for her to escape and when she kills Jabba you want to punch your fist in the air and let out a war cry. It should be a super empowering moment, right? Except it became a masturbatory fantasy for pubescent boys (and fantasies they look back fondly on as adults) and one of Leia's iconic outfits, to the point where you'd often find her in the slave costume rather than her white dress and buns. Also, it's never addressed in the movie; not even a passing comment by Leia about how much she hated that outfit or something. And shouldn't Luke and Han and Chewie and even Lando be outraged by it? Wouldn't you be super pissed if a woman you cared about was forced to wear a slave outfit against her will? Shouldn't the male audience be outraged on her behalf, not turned on by it?

 

But no, it's seen by many people as the moment when Princess Leia became a woman or some other such BS. That's why it bothers me.

I get what you are saying, and I agree with you to an extent and you do make a good case for why it bothers you personally, namely the fans. I wouldn't say you are wrong.

 

But I don't think it is fair to blame ROTJ itself, or what the characters did or didn't say. While you touch on it a bit, you kind of disregard it as well. First, ROTJ was from 1983. Second, it's Star Wars. So I wouldn't blame the movie for not addressing it, because Star Wars is simplistic in character development, and, well, 1983 was a different time where such topics were not addressed to the extent they are today.

I've been to five Star Wars Celebrations and numerous Dragon Cons. Trust me, it's not just because of a Friends episode.

 

Also, the idea that teenage boys (and MEN, let's not kid ourselves) were turned on by someone taken as a slave is probably evidence that the movie should have done a better job portraying it as horrifying? Just an idea.

None of that would be perpetuated if young WOMEN wouldn't dress as Slave Leia, too, so I wouldn't put it all on th shoulders of teenage boys. Comicons, and Halloween for that matter are rife with young women dressing in very revealing costumes.

 

Also, there are tons of genres even within geek culture (pick any vampire/supernatural franchise, Harry Potter, Dr Who, and even Star Wars), where teen girls fetish male characters. In some cases, girls can be way worse.

 

So, I get what you are saying, and you have a good point, but I don't think it is fair to put it all on guys. Girls do it to in their way, or help perpetuate "fetish-ization" of female heroic characters, like Leia.

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What about American History X? As good of a movie as it was I can see people today thinking it was racially offensive even though the overall point of the film was to demonize racism.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I mean, RotJ is my favorite movie of the saga, so obviously this doesn't affect my overall enjoyment of the film. Mostly I just address the problematic stuff so other people acknowledge it.

 

Yes, girls can be terrible, but girls don't run Hollywood. :p

Fair enough point on acknowledging the problematic stuff, but Luke, Leia, Han and Lando pretty much killed all of Jabba's band, so I am not sure what the viewer would get out of Lando saying to Chewie "Man, that Jabba really pissed me off when he made Leia wear that metal bikini!"

 

As for girls not running Hollywood? I thought we were talking about how fandom reacted to said film, and examples of female fans doing the same thing as male fans?

 

But I acknowledge your overall point, and perhaps if ROTJ were made today, Leia would be portrayed more like how Rey and Jyn were.

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