Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You can read our spoiler-free review here.
There have been an insane amount of merchandise available for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, despite a seemingly endless supply of toys, batteries, beverages, and games, there seems to be a common trend of the film’s protagonist, Rey, being left out. We reported that Rey was notably left out of the new Force Awakens monopoly game, and how it created quite a stir with fans. Well, Hasbro seems to have heard this outcry and recently released a statement explaining themselves:
The Star Wars: Monopoly game was released in September, months before the movie's release. Rey was not included to avoid revealing a key plot line that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.
Oh crap, I kind of feel guilty regarding my initial outrage. This explanation, reported by EW, does make sense as long as it’s legitimate. We’ve seen toy and video game incarnations of The Force Awakens not being entirely accurate due to the mystery of the movie’s plot. The Disney Infinity game, which included characters from The Force Awakens, contained a plot that was a vague outline of the first act of the new movie. Reportedly, the developers had a hard time creating the game since they couldn’t spoil The Force Awakens for themselves or the gamers who would be playing.
I do; however, feel a bit skeptical about this reasoning. Afterall, the plot of The Force Awakens was completely under wraps until the film’s release on the 18th. So, are we to believe that J.J. Abrams let the Hasbro higher ups know what was going to happen? For a director and producer who wouldn’t even let the cast keep their copies of the script, it seems like a stretch. We know that merchandising is a huge party of the Star Wars franchise, but I don’t think I believe that Abrams would put this before the integrity of the movie.
This wasn’t the first time that Rey was left out of Star Wars merchandise. Action figure sets have been released containing all of the major characters besides her. After seeing the movie, it’s clear that Rey is the protagonist and major hero of the flick. So, the reason behind leaving her out has been associated with sexism and cementing gender roles (boys don’t wanna play with a girl toy! Yuck!). Outrage for this occurrence has sparked a social media movement with users tweeting and instagramming #wheresrey when they see products that she was left out of.
A similar issue occurred with the merchandise for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Black Widow’s likeness has been noticeably absent from action figures after the release of the movie. Widow wasn’t present in sets featuring the rest of the team, and toys based off of her scenes were given to male characters like Captain America.
Do you think Hasbro’s statements are sincere? Sound off below.