Inarguably, Carrie Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia. And in Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars actress wore a gold costume that left quite the impression on audience members — and especially Fisher herself. Here are seven facts you never knew about the gold bikini from Star Wars because there was a lot going on behind the scenes, if you will, when it comes to that particular outfit.
The gold bikini was made of entirely metal, and as Fisher spoke out about on many occasions, was not comfortable in the slightest. Of course, you could probably imagine that just from seeing it on-screen. Plus, it was tiny. Like, very tiny.
So, why did she have to wear this bikini in the first place? There's actually a bit of history involved. According to Starwars.com, space movies since the 1960s had strong female characters in bikinis, take Jane Fonda in Barbarella, for example. Princess Leia may have played a prisoner in the movie, but she proved that characters and IRL women can break free from the metaphorical chains and take off their “stupid outfits” in the end.
1. The Bikini Sold For $96,000
According to People magazine, this costume was auctioned off for almost $100,000 back in October.
2. It Was Not Comfortable
Fisher speaks about constantly having to check for wardrobe malfunctions and having to sit a certain way to keep everything in place. "I had to sit very straight because I couldn’t have lines on my sides, like little creases. No creases were allowed, so I had to sit very, very rigid straight," she said in an interview with NPR.
3. Fisher Didn't Pick The Costume
Of course, Fisher was not necessarily consulted about the wardrobe choice. This is what she thought of the iconic scene: "I have to stay with the slug with the big tongue! Nearly naked, which is not a style choice for me. … It wasn’t my choice. When [director George Lucas] showed me the outfit, I thought he was kidding and it made me very nervous," she told NPR.
4. Gold Bikinis Are Allowed In Space
Vanity Fair points out that in her memoir Wishful Drinking Fisher recalls a time she was told she couldn't wear a bra underneath her white dress because "there are no underwear in space." So, the fact that they let a gold bikini into the movie proves that, in fact, there are gold bikinis in space. Bet you didn't know that one!
5. History Influenced The Outfit
As I mentioned earlier, Princess Leia wasn't the first total badass to wear a bikini in a sci-fi film. Starwars.com summons up several examples of this occurring in movies and in comic books, such as Flash Gordon.
6. Aggie Guerard Rodgers & Nilo Rodis-Jamero Designed The Bikini
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Aggie Guerard Rodgers and Nilo Rodis-Jamero designed the bikini with fantasy artist Frank Frazetta as their inspiration.
7. Fisher Turned The Bikini Into A Feminist Statement
Heavy.com points out that despite everything, Fisher had a great attitude towards the gold bikini. She turned it into a feminist statement in a Wall Street Journal Interview when she said, "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."
Fisher realized that Star Wars was just a vehicle for her to speak her mind. That role was only the beginning.
"You can play Leia as capable, independent, sensible, a soldier, a fighter, a woman in control – control being, of course, a lesser word than master. But you can portray a woman who's a master and get through all the female prejudice if you have her travel in time, if you add a magical quality, if you're dealing in fairy-tale terms," she told Rolling Stone.
And then she became a modern day master in real life, on her own terms, too.