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A Survey of Sci-Fi Sex Symbols

Sci-Fi cult classic Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda as a sexy space agent, arrives on Blu-ray tomorrow. The psychedelic kitsch-fest was adapted from Jean-Claude Forest’s comic series of the same name and is adored for its comical, stylish, and erotic production. While Fonda’s ditzy, deadpan performance is charming, the actress is most remembered for her multiple skintight costume changes and a zero gravity striptease seen in the movie’s opening. The 1968 film helped establish Fonda’s sex symbol status. We took a look at the genre’s other memorable faces and figures — some human, others not so much — past the break.

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in Return of the Jedi

George Lucas created a space adventure the whole family could enjoy when he directed Star Wars, but Return of the Jedi’s enslaved Princess Leia in a metal bikini wasn’t really meant for young eyes. However, the iconic image of Carrie Fisher’s character was burned into the minds of impressionable audiences — something the actress has never felt happy or comfortable with. Fisher described the attention she got as “freakish” and “gross,” but noted she never really grasped the scope of her popularity at the time — and she’s thankful for that. Although the costume has been hypersexualized in contemporary geek culture, true fans of the Princess declare her intelligence, independent spirit, and capability during combat amongst her sexiest assets.

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