My local Fox News affiliate, Fox29, aired a story the other day about a parent, Fred Hill, who visited the toy department of Target and was offended to see the iconic Return of the Jedi “Slave Leia” action figure.
Hill is a single parent of two girls and he didn’t know how to explain this toy to his children. While I am not sure exactly how old his children are, they appear to be between the ages of 9-13. I am a parent also and my children frequent the toy department of Target too. So maybe I should think about how I would explain this to my kids:
“Remember when we watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi? This is the action figure of Princess Leia when she was captured by Jabba The Hutt.”
There, I just explained it to my six-year-old son and my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Both seemed to understand it just fine.
It should be noted that the year is 2015 and some version of this action figure has been in the toy aisles since 1983. After doing some research, it turns out that this particular action figure from the “black series” is actually quite controversial… because the face looks nothing like Carrie Fisher. Apparently, this figure isn’t selling. All the other characters in the “black series” sellout and poor Slave Leia is left on the shelf by herself. This was probably the reason why it stood out so prominently to Mr. Hill.
In the Fox News report, he says, “I got two daughters I don’t need seeing that crap.” First, this is in the boy’s toy section. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think toys should be segregated by gender, but as a point of fact, they are.
Second, I don’t think Mr. Hill should take his daughters down the girl’s toy aisles either because the Barbie aisles are filled with scantily clad action figures. There are a ton of Beach Barbies in bikinis that are just as revealing as Slave Leia.
Third, toy aisles are the least of Mr. Hill’s worries. If seeing a toy wearing a bikini is enough to offend him, he is likely to be offended by pretty much anything. But maybe it isn’t the bikini itself. Mr. Hill continues, “’Dad, why does this doll have a chain around her neck?’ I don’t have any answers. You know what I mean? I’m just blown away looking at it.” Let me help you out “Dad.” Jabba the Hutt captured her and chained her to him. She then used that chain of captivity to strangle him to death because no one wants to be a slave. Slavery is bad m’kay. There is your answer. You’re welcome! Now here’s a question for you “Dad;” Why do you have a chain around your neck?
More importantly, there are other questions that come to my mind. How the hell have you gone through life never having watched Return of the Jedi? How have you not shown the Star Wars Saga to your daughters? Are you a member of some cult or do you just lock your kids away from the world with occasional trips to Target?
This story bothers me for many reasons. First, no one should be offended by Star Wars. My wife calls me a George Lucas apologist and in a sense I am. I take my Star Wars very seriously. It is like a religion to me. How would Mr. Hill feel if I took my kids into a Christian store and then started complaining to news agencies about all the images of a dude being tortured all over the place? Actually… thinking about it… that would have way more validity to it considering that torture should be way more offensive than a woman wearing a bikini.
Second, this type of reaction is a symptom of the Christian demonization of sexuality and the need for some sort of warped purity. It is a symptom of the Sith. It is highly unlikely that any one (ever teenaged boys) will buy this action figure and masturbate to it. Yes, she is wearing a bikini and yes, Carrie Fisher was super sexy in the film. But this particular action figure is not the least bit sexy.
Third, I am bothered by the news coverage of this non-story. The one “Reporter,” Chris O’Connell looks like a pedophile, the way his eyes pop out with his faux outrage. This must have been a really slow news day for them to take a Facebook complaint like this seriously. O’Connell says that he talked to many parents and they all were outraged. I find that hard to believe considering that almost every comment on the story (and there are at least 500) have been from people who were outraged… about the story. Most comments have been from people who thought this story was ridiculous. One comment was actually a link to a video of a woman wearing a Slave Leia outfit criticizing this story. Check it out:
- Star Wars Episode VII: Thoughts and Predictions (skepticink.com)
- The Phantom Menace: JJ Abrams! (skepticink.com)
- Sex, Marriage, and Fairytales (dangeroustalk.net)
- Transformers Rescue Bot Answers The Meaning of Life (skepticink.com)
- Transformers Gets Hijacked By Christians (skepticink.com)
- Transformers: The God Gambit (skepticink.com)