Tag Archives: lady business

The boss: New Kathleen Kennedy profile, and about that slave bikini…

vf-kathleen-kennedy

Vanity Fair has a new interview and profile of Kathleen Kennedy in the wake of The Force Awakens. The most interesting part, perhaps, comes from writer Tony Kushner (Angels in America:)

“She talked about the way in which the conventional approach to these things is that a script starts from an outline, and that’s what everybody focuses on before there’s a word of dialogue.” In Kushner’s recollection, Kennedy was urging the writers to turn their focus to the characters. She kept saying to them, “Who are these people? I don’t know who these people are.” Kushner felt that “she was expressing an impatience about character being secondary to story line, which violated something very essential for her.”

He went on: “We had an interesting conversation about how a lot of playwrights start with outlines because it gives you something to hold on to, but that you know the characters are likely to derail the outline once they start doing what they do.” He and Kennedy talked about how “there’s no telling what will happen once you have invented a person. They may be willing to do what the outline says to do, but they may have very different plans in mind.” The sense Kushner got was that Kennedy “was pushing people to be unafraid of being lost for a while. It was good to see her holding the banner of complexity in the middle of this huge enterprise of Star Wars.” The machines, in other words, have not won.

She also addresses Leia’s slave bikini:

Referring to a notorious scene in Return of the Jedi, I asked Kennedy if she would ever have put Princess Leia in a golden bikini—the famous “slave Leia” costume that is embedded in the collective unconscious of legions of men who were adolescents in the 80s. “With a chain around her neck?,” Kennedy asked, arching an eyebrow and laughing. “I don’t think that would happen.” She quickly added that she didn’t think George Lucas would put her in that bikini today.

Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, on the other hand, says “George is not apologetic about that bikini.” I don’t doubt it.

The article notes that there isn’t a ban on the slave bikini – but I’ve always suspected the real story is that there’ll be less bikini, as opposed to a blanket ban, considering the source of the ‘banning’ brouhaha is a pinup artist.

In any case, you’re going to want to read the whole thing.

Rebels Leia figure coming from Hasbro; New report claims lack of Rey merch guided by Lucasfilm

rebels-leia-hasbroHere’s some good news for fans hungry for more ladies in the toy aisle – There’ll be a Princess Leia figure based on her Rebels appearance from Hasbro. The 3¾ figure will be in stores this fall.

In less happy toy news, there’s a new report that lays the cause of the lack of Rey toys at the feet of Lucasfilm themselves. A purported insider described a January 2015 vendor meeting with the company to the blog Sweatpants and Coffee:

The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.

“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”

Hasbro is releasing more toys with Rey and other female characters, like Leia, aren’t being left out entirely. (And note that while there are certainly far less Rey items, she wasn’t totally excluded from the first wave of products.) But the report does show there’s a lot of work to be done at every level.

Rey, feminism, Mary Sues and the evolution of Star Wars

tfa-teaser2-rey

Today brought two great pieces on Rey and how she represents a whole new kind of Star Wars heroine. First up, Alyssa Rosenberg at The Washington Post on how Rey’s role tweaks one of the core concepts of the franchise. Then there’s Megan Garber at The Atlantic, who takes a look at Rey as Star Wars’ first truly modern feminist protagonist.

And while not so much an exploration of Rey’s character but the reaction to her, io9’s Charlie Jane Anders drops the mic on the asinine Mary Sue nonsense that’s been plaguing Twitter recently.

Today in The Force Awakens: Isaac on the Resistance, Captain Phasma was originally a man

tfa-poe-bigOscar Isaac talks to io9 about the Resistance, Poe’s Shattered Empire backstory (though it’s worth noting he was already old enough to be talking – he’s mentioned in #2 – before his parents settled on Yavin) and how the X-wings have evolved.

→ You can listen to both yesterday’s press conference(s) thanks to Full of Sith. Or watch the videos (1, 2.)

→ Captain Phasma was originally a man, Vulture reports, and the backlash to the initial casting may have played a part in the gender swap. That said, anything that saved us from Benedict Cumberbatch is fine by me.

→ Clutch your pearls, because J.J. Abrams talked midi-chlorians with /Film.

→ Droid tales: Anthony Daniels get profiled by Vulture, while CNN talks to the BB-8 designers about the droid and his adventures on set.

→ On Twitter, Greg Grunberg confirms his action figure and his character name.

→ Everyone wants their trailer on Star Wars! We know X-Men: Apocalypse will be there, but now The Hollywood Reporter says Star Trek Beyond will be attached as well.

Today in The Force Awakens: It’s all about the ladies, and George Lucas has seen the film

lat-womenToday’s must-read was an article from Meredith Woerner at the Los Angeles Times about the women of The Force Awakens. In addition to the characters (it’s revealed that Captain Phasma will be returning for VIII,) Kathleen Kennedy also talks about the importance of having women behind the scenes, and how that helped the movie.

→ On that note, agent Adriana Alberghetti told the LAT that she’s gotten meetings for four female directors and three female writers for Star Wars films. She doesn’t name names, but Newsarama notes that her clients include Orange Is The New Black director S.J. Clarkson and Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon.

→ George Lucas has seen The Force Awakens and, Kathleen Kennedy tells The Hollywood Reporter, “he really liked it.”

Carrie Fisher was on Good Morning America this morning, and not only was she amazing, but she was full of praise for the film.

More The Force Awakens ornaments are coming to Hallmark… Next year. Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma are available now.

Her Universe and Hot Topic launch a new Star Wars collection

Her Universe and Hot Topic launched a new Star Wars collection today! Several of the designs are available now, with more coming next month. And, Ashley Eckstein tells The Daily Dot, there’s another in development.

The items are avaliable in extended sizes, and Hot Topic’s sister shop Torrid will carry some items as well, including a lightsaber dress based on the skirt introduced earlier this year.

Ashley is also encouraging fans to share with the hashtag #MyStarWarsStory:

Not everything from the line is for sale at the moment, but what is can be found online at Hot Topic.

Rumor: We’re going to be seeing a lot less of Princess Leia’s slave bikini

Making Star Wars reports of rumblings that Lucasfilm is “retiring” the Slave Leia bikini. However, do note that piece’s only quoted source is J. Scott Campbell, an artist whose work mostly seems to consist of pinups – not exactly the most neutral of parties regarding this subject.

That said, I do feel it’s a very smart move for Lucasfilm to be more selective in how and when they use the bikini. It’s all-too-often used as the character’s default look – see Tsundo Sanda’s recent Newsweek cover, where any iconic Leia would do the trick just as well. The problem isn’t so much that slave Leia is a thing that exists in merchandising, it’s that the bikini dominates – and that’s not a fair representation of the character.

I do think a blanket ban on it is rather unlikely – I don’t have a huge problem with the Return of the Jedi poster that MSW uses an an example, for instance – but less of the bikini? Yes, please.

Carrie Fisher to Daisy Ridley: “Fight for your outfit.”

ridley-interview

Carrie Fisher interviews Daisy Ridley in the latest issue of Interview. It’s super-charming, and Fisher passes on some important advice regarding slave outfits, “sex symbols” and fandom. The pull quote, however, is certainly going to be the slave outfit stuff:

RIDLEY: No, they always talk about how you’re a sex symbol, and how do I feel about that. [Fisher sighs] I’m not a sex symbol! [laughs]

FISHER: Listen! I am not a sex symbol, so that’s an opinion of someone. I don’t share that.

RIDLEY: I don’t think that’s the right—

FISHER: Word for it? Well, you should fight for your outfit. Don’t be a slave like I was.

RIDLEY: All right, I’ll fight.

FISHER: You keep fighting against that slave outfit.

RIDLEY: I will.