Republic Gunship. Also known as the puppy carrier.
2.5” x 3.5” watercolors
The picture on the left is a piece of fan art. But the picture on the right is an official print made in honor of Celebration VI. Both are remarkably, and disgustingly, similar in content. They are also unfortunately popular pictures.
Without any context for these pictures at all, without knowing why Leia was in this outfit or who Han was to her, these pictures are still upsetting. It’s explicitly visualizing the male gaze. All Leia is in these pictures is something pretty for Han to look at. In the left picture, she’s not just something for him to look at but something for him to possess, which is even more disgusting.
With context, these pictures become even more upsetting. Leia is the only named, speaking female character in the entire Original Trilogy. Throughout the movies, Leia has her own agency. She needs and accepts help from those around her, but she is not a damsel in distress any more than Luke or Han is. She is capable of whatever she wishes to do and to see this fierce woman reduced to something for Han to enjoy is incredibly upsetting.
And to make this scene even worse, is the context of how Leia got into that outfit in the first place. The metal bikini is the only outfit that Leia did not choose to wear herself. She was forced into the outfit because a giant blob monster has a proclivity for scantily clad female humanoids. As this article points out, Leia did not take that treatment sitting down. She literally strangled Jabba to death with the chain he held her captive with. Leia was empowered enough that she refused to take that shit from Jabba, or from anyone else.
So why do we continually see fetishizations of Leia’s loss of agency? Why would the man she loves treat her exactly the same way as Jabba had? And why should we accept Han acting this way as completely normal and acceptable?