While most (male) Star Wars fans remember Carrie Fisher for the sex-slave golden bikini she wore as Princess Leia, the late actress had a feminist concept of her role way ahead of her time.
1. As early as 1983, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine about the newly released "Return of the Jedi," Fisher already sensed that her character had been written to please male fans. Princess Leia needed to be softened and sexualized for the final film, because too many fans viewed her as a "space bitch."
"She has no friends, no family; her planet was blown up in seconds — along with her hairdresser — so all she has is a cause," said Fisher. "From the first film, she was just a soldier: frontline and center. The only way they knew to make the character strong was to make her angry.
"In 'Return of the Jedi,' she gets to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate, but let's not forget that these movies are basically boys' fantasies, so the other way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her clothes."
2. In the same interview, Fisher stressed that Leia's position of leader (of the underground rebellion) would have been impossible in a more "realistic" film at that time:
"Movies are dreams! And they work on you subliminally. 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 fairytale terms. People need these bigger-than-life projections."
3. "You should fight for your outfit," Fisher said in an interview alongside Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in a prequel, for Interview Magazine. "Don't be a slave like I was."
She also warned Ridley that "it's hard to date once you're a big 'Star Wars' star, because you don't want to give people the ability to say: 'I had sex with Princess Leia.'"
4. In the Wall Street Journal, Fisher said this about parents calling for a ban on Leia's controversial doll in her bikini outfit: "I think that's stupid... 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."
5. In the same interview, she also evoked the issue of finding a job as an older woman in Hollywood: "I'm a female working in show business where, if you're famous, you have a career until you're 45, maybe. Maybe. And that's about 15 people."
6. On the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, when asked about Hollywood requiring her to lose weight to play Princess Leia, Fisher said: "They did not want all of me, just a part of me — only three-fourths, and I had to get rid of a fourth, and the fourth can't be with me."
As for why Princess Leia never got her own lightsaber, she said: "You know, it's this thing about women: even in space, there's a double standard."