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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Underwear, Space, and Gaffer's Tape



If, as a pubescent female, you stood in line to watch Star Wars . . . 


The 1977 "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" Star Wars, 


you relate to the covetous desire to be an orphaned space princess.  


Carrie Fisher recently wrote a memoir Wishful Drinking, where she disclosed some interesting Star War experiences. 

Remember the white dress I wore all through that film [Star Wars]? George [Lucas] came up to me the first day of filming, took one look at the dress and said: "You can't wear a bra under that dress." "OK, I'll bite," I said. "Why?" And he said: "Because... there's no underwear in space."


Evidently, per Lucas's understanding of space, flesh expands when outside the Earth's gravitational pull and supportive undergarments would be restrictive and possibly fatal.



My favorite online contributions to the costuming discussion were first, the male members of the cast were not asked to act without their supportive and yet restrictive underclothing leading to an implication that gravitational pull may not have been the only computational factor. 



Second, the story takes place in a gravitational environment (artificial or otherwise) making the argument irrelevant. 



Third, now that astronauts are both genders, brassiere wearing in zero gravity has become factual rather than hypothetical. 



The professionals were kind enough to provide answers including while support in zero gravity may not be a primary concern, prevention of movement while exercising and maintaining a professional appearance are possible reasons for underwear preference. 



While support may not have been a primary concern during filming, the MPAA rating system was. Carrie Fisher ended up with gaffer's tape covering portions of anatomy underneath the semi-transulcent gown to lead to a PG rating. 


However, her costume from Return of the Jedi was more problematic and several scenes had to be re-shot due to 'wardrobe malfunctions.'


One additional bit of costuming trivia . . .


The robe worn by Obi-Wan Kenobi (yes, the 1977 "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" Obi-wan Kenobi) was misplaced. 



Thirty years later, it was found in a London warehouse stored with Monk robes of similar hue. It was sold for over $100,000 at auction. 



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