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It’s tough to be a woman in the world of merchandise. While most of the pop culture landscape is dominated by male characters, there are more than a few strong women who tend to get left behind when their movie franchise makes the jump from the screen to the toy shelf. Daisy Ridley’s Rey has become one of those women. But now, one of those toy manufacturers is taking steps to make amends. Hasbro has announced that Rey will be included in a future version of the Star Wars Monopoly game. Finally.
It’s a complete turnaround in record time. It’s been barely more than a day since the first Daisy Ridley stories hit, asking why John Boyega’s Finn was included in the game rather than Rey, who is ultimately a larger part of the story in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hasbro then tried to explain their decision, saying that the fact that Rey was so important was the reason they had made the decision that they did. Since the game was released last September, prior to the film, they were afraid that including Rey alongside the main villain, Kylo Ren, would show that Rey was ultimately the film’s main protagonist. Most of the film’s advertising gave its attention to Finn as a way to try and keep fan’s attention diverted from the truth. Hasbro says they were just doing the same thing.
This latest statement from Hasbro is incredibly vague, so we are utterly lacking in any details. We don’t know when the new token will be included. "Later this year" covers a lot of ground when you’re saying it in January, so it could be Christmas before we see the new version of the game.
It’s also not clear if Rey will replace Finn in the game or simply be added. The Star Wars version of Monopoly only includes four tokens, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker complete the set, which is quite a bit fewer than a normal Monopoly game, so they could just add her without changing anything else. Although then you’d likely need to add a Han Solo or Princess Leia token as well to keep the classic vs. new character balance. Wow, the prequels totally got the shaft in this game didn’t they? It’s also not clear if there will be an option for people who already own the game to get the new token. An online option where you can buy the piece for a couple bucks is certainly an option they could go with.
Regardless of the reasons for the original decisions, or the details of how this will all shake out, it’s nice to see the change happening. Rey is a great character and she deserves her time in the board-game sun.