The Good: Great (if odd) concept, Nice sculpt, Great balance
The Bad: Fine detail points may break easily
The Basics: Princess Leia is captured by Hallmark Keepsake in a dramatic pose in one of science fiction's sexiest outfits for a well-detailed Christmas ornament for geeks!
It doesn't take a genius to posit that sex sells, even at Christmastime. Still, there is something unseemly (and I write this as an atheist) about a Christmas tree weighed down with ornaments of sex symbols. Okay, now I'm just thinking of a whole Playboy line of Christmas ornaments, but what I was referring to was the Princess Leia (as Jabba's Slave) ornament produced by Hallmark Keepsake as part of their Star Wars ornament line. Arguably the most memorable sex symbol in science fiction despite appearing for less than fifteen minutes in this form, Princess Leia is cast in an action pose running (presumably upon the deck of Jabba's Sail Barge) in the metal bikini the gangster forced her to wear.
For those unfamiliar with the "Slave" Leia, she attempted to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt while disguised as a bounty hunter, but was discovered by the gangster. Used as bait to lure Luke Skywalker to him, Jabba amused himself by having Leia coifed in only a metal bikini with a loincloth-like skirt. Thus, Princess Leia spent the first act of Return Of The Jedi (click here for the film review!) laying before the slimy monster barely clad until she strangled him with the chain he had her bound with and broke out. This became one of the seminal sexual fantasies of boys and men who saw Return Of The Jedi and to this day plagues the sex lives of women who are not Hollywood thin, but still into role playing with their partner. Played with a minimum of clothes and a lot of spunk by actress Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia as Jabba's Prisoner is a seminal Star Wars character and Hallmark Keepsake captures her surprisingly well for their ornament.
The "Princess Leia" ornament recreates the newly-liberated Rebel in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2005, is an instantly recognizable likeness of Leia as she defends herself with a Skiff Guard's pike in a stance that makes her appear able to eviscerate her enemies. The sculpt is indicative of Princess Leia after she had been freed from most of her chains by R2-D2 (there is a short chain dangling from her collar), evident because she is armed, which only happened after she had killed Jabba. Yes, George Lucas liked a decent mix of sex and death and this ornament captures that beautifully. Measuring three and one-quarter inches tall, three and a half inches wide and just over an inch and a half deep, the Princess Leia ornament is a decent-enough representation of Slave Leia, but given the amount of skin she has showing, it is hard to do her wrong! Hallmark insisted on something like $15.00 for the ornament originally and it easily sold out at that price. Dressed in only the metal-trim bikini and skirts and posed running, Princess Leia appears active and feisty. This is easily recognizable as Princess Leia.
The Hallmark "Princess Leia" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has her holding a Skiff Guard's energy prod with two hands. Her feet are arranged in a running motion with her skirts flapping back between her legs with a wonderful sense of movement! She is looking up defiantly and her cut chain is an actual chain that hangs down from her collar.
Princess Leia is detailed adequately, in the body, in the accessory and on the costume (what there is of it!). Fans are likely to be excited by the detail of such things as Princess Leia's earrings which are actual loops of gold metal coming out the base of her ears! Hallmark took a lot of care in decorating the Princess Leia ornament, including blush on the cheeks and a dimpled belly button.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Princess Leia could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a low-cost (comparatively) option for those who might not want to shell out for the starship series of Star Wars ornaments. This is Slave Leia simply hangs.
The Princess Leia ornament is delicate in the way it is cast, though, with the weapon and pony tail consisting of stiff plastic that might easily break if the ornament is dropped from a sufficiently high height onto a hard surface.
This ornament does come with a collectible trading card featuring the picture from the front of the box on it. This is a cute gimmick.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Princess Leia" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, the "Princess Leia" seems like it would be essential. The ornament has a brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the character's bun (this Princess Leia had hair braided back and up before a long pony tail descended down her back). From that hook, the Princess Leia ornament hangs perfectly balanced. It is impressive and the ornament sways when rocked, but otherwise sits stable in the right position!
Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (click here for that review!). Since then, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Princess Leia ornament with her in the Jabba's Palace garb is the ninth in a series and the ornament is labeled such discreetly on the inside of the bottom of her skirt. At this point in the Star Wars ornament collections, the primary characters have all been done and the popular secondary characters are being explored. Princess Leia was mass-produced, but it's pretty hard to meet the demand of fans who have the hots for Slave Leia! Most "Star Wars" fans of the male persuasion are going to want one of these and those hunting for them are likely to find them at or slightly more than the original $14.95 issue price.
Fans of the Star Wars franchise, Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia are likely to be pleased by the Princess Leia ornament, but mostly because it's hard to go wrong with a 3/4 naked woman, even on a Christmas Tree!
For other Hallmark ornaments of Star Wars characters, please check out my reviews of:
2010 Lando Calrissian Limited Edition ornament
2009 Greedo Limited Edition ornament
2008 Emperor Palpatine ornament
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornament set
For other ornament reviews, please click here to visit my index page!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.