Ugh apparently I am having a lot of Leia Organa feelings because I just read her wiki page and I’m just thinking about the SW narrative and man, so much of her heroism is covert. It’s just so frustrating. On all the posters she’s being rescued, she’s being helped, she’s being shown (in her slave bikini UGH don’t even get me started on that shit). Her character has been marketed as the woman in sci-fi, spunky but still a woman (which is to say, skilled but with limitations; someone else will have to come and help her eventually. And because ugh to be a woman in sci-fi is often to be awesome but with limitations, with the underlying idea that she is working within her limited skills and okay that’s another story for another time). She was subjected to a lot of things, and got to do a lot of things but at the same time it’s acknowledged that she was hard as nails, a tough delegate and determined to take care of herself. Yet she’s always dependent on others somehow within the film narrative and in these posters and other canon stories outside of the films. It’s just so contradictory and so frustrating. I feel like I can see Leia just smirking at everybody to hide the frustration she has underneath: if only everyone could see how great she is. They’re getting the princess, diplomat facade. The caretaker whose concern makes her steeled and fierce. The leader playing innocent but secretly taking down the entire Empire. The woman playing her roles and adding her determination to them in order to have some form of control over what is expected of her. But she plays her roles well and waits for the right moment to use those roles to take control. If circumstances were altered just so, she’d be the hero and everyone would be dependent on her, outright. It could’ve been so easy for her character to be front and center: the woman with so many roles must take on the biggest one—the hero.
Argh, archetypes, I want to subvert them so badly. Leia did, but I wish she could’ve done more. With Luke’s hero’s journey, he had the chance to refuse the call multiple times, fail multiple times, literally go into the cave and flee from it, and still he got to fulfill his identity and become the hero. Leia was never even offered the call; we the viewers barely got to know that it could’ve been her, that she could’ve been the one to cross the threshold and answer the call. Her duty was to help the Alliance, to found it and lead it, but there was so much more to her that was never called upon because she wasn’t supposed to be the hero, that wasn’t her destiny. But dammit, in my view there’s no reason why it couldn’t have been and wasn’t her, other than that the hero’s redemption is part of the male hero archetype. The dramatic irony of her story is that “there is another”—she is another chance, another hero’s journey story that we never get to see and that she never gets to live.
And I was a little kid, not yet desensitized to violence […] Jabba’s death scene freaked the hell out of me. It wasn’t a clean blaster shot to the chest or a slice from a lightsaber that sent sparks flying or made you turn invisible. There were struggles, and flailing, and twitching limbs. The shots are close-ups, and very dark—it’s vicious, and vengeful, and physical, and very very personal.
So for me, wearing that gold bikini does not mean Here I am, a sexy toy for your amusement and gratification.
To me, that gold bikini says, If you fuck with me, I will end you.
|—||Olivia Waite - Ellora’s Cave author, inquisitive mind, and hedonist-about-town (via veggiezombiex)|