Last week the internet basically exploded regarding The Force Awakens Monopoly game. Although the board came had been released a while ago, controversy began to surround it due to Rey’s strange absence. Hasbro felt the heat and responded to fans, but it’s now clear that even J.J. Abrams reached out to the toy company to advocate for Rey’s inclusion. His thoughts on the situation are as follows:
It seems preposterous and wrong that the main character of the movie is not well-represented in what is clearly a huge piece of the ‘Star Wars’ world, in terms of merchandising. I read that she wasn’t in the Monopoly game and was quickly making phone calls.
Now that is a hands-on producer. Merchandise has always been a major part of the Star Wars franchise, and The Force Awakens is no exception. Leading up to the film’s release, it seems you couldn’t get through a commercial break on television without at least two merchandising commercials. From batteries, cars, toys, and clothes, almost any product was slapped with Kylo Ren’s image and sold to somehow commemorate Star Wars.
J.J. Abrams has been extremely involved in The Force Awakens since it was announced that he would be directing it. As development continued, J.J. Abrams began to co-write as well as produce the movie. Basically, Abrams lived and breathed Star Wars for years. While he won’t be continuing in this capacity for Episode VIII, it seems that The Force Awakens is still his baby. The Wrap reported Abrams’ above statement, much to the applause of Rey fans everywhere.
The controversy regarding Rey's absence has been growing for months. Before the film was ever released, fans were already becoming infuriated with Rey’s lack of merchandise. Action figure play sets excluded the scavenger- opting instead to include random First Order soldiers over the film’s protagonist. This lapse, among many other, triggered a massively popular instagram and twitter tag: #wheresrey. With this hashtag, fans could take photos of merchandise that excluded Rey, and draw attention to an apparent sexism in the industry.
After the monopoly debacle went viral, Hasbo issues a lame excuse for this omission. The toy company claimed they were avoiding potential spoilers by ignoring Rey. Apparently, they didn’t want to reveal which side Rey chose and therefore didn’t include her in monopoly. I think this is pretty bogus- there’s no way that J.J. Abrams revealed the plot (and what to avoid) with Hasbro. Due to the unsatisfied response, Hasbro has since made a second statement that Force Awakens Monopoly would be re-released to include Rey. And now, it’s clear that Abrams himself is responsible for this speedy change.
Check out this video walking through the new Monopoly game. And try not to be disappointed when Rey is absent.