This is beyond absurd. Once again a Star Wars: The Force Awakens product is hitting the market and the movie’s main character is nowhere to be found. This time it’s the Monopoly game that has left out Rey, and Star Wars fans are not happy about it.
This has been an ongoing issue with The Force Awakens products, so much so that fans have been using the hashtag #WheresRey (or #WhereisRey because these things can be tough to organize so quickly) to protest the continuing exclusion of the unquestioned protagonist for the biggest movie in the world. It was clear this was going to be a problem even before the movie came out when Rey (and the shiny-armored Captain Phasma) were excluded in a character set of figures while a nameless stormtrooper made it in. This Monopoly game is just the newest iteration of this bizarre and frustrating problem.
Hasbro has the game listed on its website with “4 character tokens (2 Rebel, 2 Empire).” Those four characters are Darth Vader and Kylo Ren from the Empire (I know, let’s not worry about the semantics of the Empire vs. the First Order) and Return of the Jedi era Luke Skywalker and Finn.
Entertainment Weekly reached out to Hasbro for comment. The company’s reason for excluding Rey is the same one that has been given time and again; Hasbro claims that because they designed the game months before the film came out, the omission of Rey was in the interest of “avoiding spoilers.”
“The Star Wars: Monopoly game was released in September, months before the movie’s release, and Rey was not included to avoid revealing a key plot line that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.”
I’ve seen similar things regarding her action figures too, with claims that they didn’t want to include a lightsaber with her before the movie came out, but thought people would be mad if it didn’t have one after they saw the film. So you wanted to avoid selling more Star Wars products? Or thought the people that obsessively buy them all would maybe pass on getting a new one?
Even if all parties are telling the truth about fearing spoilers when it came to Rey, the decision seems foolish. I mean, did we know for certain before the movie who or what Finn really was? Didn’t we know just as much, or as little, about him as Rey? Was it a spoiler to hint she might be just as important and interesting as her male costar?
The far more pessimistic interpretation is that, main character or not, toy companies still think these products (and Star Wars on the whole) are primarily meant for boys who wouldn’t want to play with girl action figures, no matter how kickass and lovable the heroine in question turned out to be.
It’s all very strange and frustrating, to say the least. Of the new characters to the Star Wars story, Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren were incredibly prominent in the buildup to the film’s release. Even if some Rey products didn’t sell before December 18th because of old beliefs that boys wouldn’t play with a “girl toy,” they would have been sold out by December 19th.
There have been promises that a new wave of Rey-related toys and products are going to be released soon, and when they are they’ll be massive sellers. In the meantime, Rey sits alone on Jakku, waiting for her fans to show up.
Why do you think Rey has been excluded in all of the products so far? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm
Monopoly Images: Hasbro