|Princess Leia Unproduced Flight Suit Outfit|
|The piece you see here was part of an important find of prototypes relating to Kenner's 12" action figure line. As you've probably already figured out, the figure is a standard 12" Princess Leia, first released in 1978. But the outfit is something else entirely. It looks like nothing the Leia character appeared in in any of the Star Wars films. Rather, it was conceived as a flight suit, which Leia might have worn while spending her free time flying around the galaxy, or doing whatever else young female senators in the Star Wars galaxy do for fun.
All of the pieces shown on this page are parts of either a "Photo Sample," made for photography purposes, or a "Quote Sample," made to send to Kenner's vendors for cost estimates and production guidance. The outfit you see on the doll above is the photo sample.
An image of this photo sample--adorning a production Leia doll--was first published in Steve Sansweet's book, Star Wars, from Concept to Screen to Collectible. Until recently, that photo was the only piece of evidence proving that the outfit had indeed been created. Fortunately, these pieces I have came with a glossy print of the original file photo, the same one published in Sansweet's book. It can be seen above.
The outfit I have may or may not be the one shown in the photograph; indications are that it probably is the same. As the outfit was found, it was loose, without a doll to display it on. It was also missing its original accessories, which included a pair of blue-tinted goggles, a white version of the holster packaged with the Han Solo 12" doll, and a pair of bright yellow boots. Luckily for me, the goggles are virtually identical to those packaged with a certain Six Million Dollar Man accessory set, and the boots are colored versions of those packaged with Kenner's International Velvet doll of around the same time. Many of these prototype outfits were photographed with versions of these boots. Interestingly, these boots seem to have served as the basis for those packaged with the standard Han Solo 12" figure. Although the Velvet boots are shorter in the toe than the Han versions, the stirrup-like detail around the heels and ankles is exactly the same.
So, I found the goggles and painted some International Velvet boots yellow. Then I found a Han belt and modified it appropriately.
The story behind this outfit and its counterparts (which also can be found on the Archive) is fascinating. Apparently, Kenner was planning on releasing mid-priced outfit/accessory packs for their line of Star Wars 12" dolls, much as they had for their extremely popular Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman lines. To present this concept to Lucasfilm for approval, several conceptual outfits were created. They can be seen in the photo above. Disco was popular at the time, and the oufits reflected its glittery aesthetic. Lucasfilm, however, had different ideas of what these outfits should look like. They asked that the colors be toned down and the metallic fabrics be eliminated. Also, that goofy "disco ghost" outfit on the far right was nixed entirely. But the rest went through some modifications and were eventually ok'd for release. You can see the concept prototype for this Leia outfit towards the center of the photo, out in the front of the group of figures. As you can see, Kenner originally proposed a metallic silver flight suit for Leia. This was changed to a more conservative blue at Lucasfilm's request.
Still, Kenner wasn't too happy with the sales of their 12" Star Wars figures and the planned outfit packs were cancelled before going into production. But before they were cancelled, plenty of work went into producing "Quote Samples" for the purpose of determing production costs. These samples include a fully-finished prototype of the outfit; patterns, so that Kenner's vendor could reproduce the prototype exactly; and several specification sheets. Above you see the patterns for this outfit, complete with hand written identifications.
The above two pieces of paper are the spec. sheets included with the quote sample. The information included here would have allowed the manufacturer of these oufits to know exactly what types of fabrics to use. They include samples of the materials used for the jumpsuit, as well as references to identical fabrics used to make earlier Kenner products.
Here's the prototype that was included with the quote sample. It's basically the same as the jumpsuit on the above photo sample. It's tagged for the purpose of identification.
Finally (if you're still reading), here's the envelope the sample material came in. It has the name of the oufit written across the front of it. And the fact that it's a Kenner envelope makes it all the nicer.
Any way you cut it, these outfits are a major find of unproduced Star Wars toys. It's especially nice to know that they were approved for production by both LFL and Kenner, and cancelled only after their development was almost entirely finished. This outfit is certainly one of the most special things in my collection, and thanks have to go to an anonymous collector and Gus Lopez for tracking it down.
To see the design of the blister card that would have been used to package this outfit, click here.
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Ron Salvatore|
|Film:||A New Hope|
|Category:||Toys / Action Figure Related / Large Size Action Figures|