Committing the relatively minor nerd sin of sexism, and the far more serious one of “changing a thing from Star Wars,” Target has incited the internet’s wrath by releasing a “Star Wars Boys Humor Graphic Tee” that replaces fearless Alderaanian diplomat Princess Leia with her nerf-herding, moisture-farming brother Luke. As reported by various places and first noted on Twitter, the shirt takes a memetically famous scene—the one where a captured Leia denounces her secret Sith dad Darth Vader for his boldness while he bawls her out for being a Rebel spy—and replaces Carrie Fisher with a blurry lump that looks like Mark Hamill’s Photoshop-mangled evil twin.
Ignoring the fact that the joke on the shirt doesn’t actually make any sense—What does it mean to bring “The Dark Side?” Why would Luke have to bring something? Is this an evil, space-faring potluck?—the underlying assumption seems to be that boys wouldn’t wear a shirt featuring one of the most relentlessly kick-ass women in sci-fi movie history. (It also suggest that the designers think Stormtrooper helmets look cooler than those sloping cap things that Imperial officers wear, which might be a fairer cop.) Either way, it’s baffling that Target and its suppliers thought people wouldn’t notice the change. Not because there’s some deep egalitarian streak underpinning speculative fiction and its history of depicting worlds where the bounds of gender no longer define us, but because they changed a scene from Star Wars, the sci-fi equivalent of releasing a Christian-themed hoodie that replaces Jesus Christ with the Virgin Mother on the cross.