Where’s Rey? Toys and games have left the lead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens out, relegating the character to the sandy wrecks on Jakku. There are Rey action figures available, don’t get me wrong, but she’s been excluded from toy packs and a Monopoly game for no good reason. Fans are upset, and director J.J. Abrams is none too pleased with the lack of Rey toys on the market.
Entertainment Weekly spoke to Abrams at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Saturday and asked about the issue. In short, Abrams doesn’t get it. Hasbro explained they left Rey out of the Monopoly set in order to avoid spoilers, but it’s a flimsy excuse. Abrams said he doesn’t have intel on the merchandising and the release schedule: “I’m learning things as you are. I will say that 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.” Preposterous is definitely the right word for it.
Abrams continued and said he made phone calls about the Monopoly set to see if it was actually true. Maybe his action on top of the fan outrage is what pushed Hasbro into announcing they’re making a new Monopoly game with Rey. But as Abrams said, “It doesn’t quite make sense why she wouldn’t be there. She’s somewhat important in the story.”
She is indeed and merch should reflect that. A commenter at Entertainment Weekly mentions people should choose their battles and that it’s good enough to have a female main character in the film in the first place. No, it’s actually not good enough. It’s progress, but merchandise messaging should support that. I’m glad Abrams sees the importance of the issue.
Have you been able to find Rey toys? Head to the comments and let me know where you’re shopping.
HT: Entertainment Weekly