Where’s Rey?

COURTESY // Amazon.com

The "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" figurine set, missing Rey.

As a child, I remember walking into a toy store and being provided with limited options. Sure there were many different brands of dolls, such as Barbie and Bratz, but they were generally all the same: a generic female doll that you could dress up. I often would gravitate towards the more “boyish” section, just to change it up.
Now, not much has changed. Some movies have brought strong female characters to life on the big screen, such as Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Black Widow from the “Avengers” series and most recently, Rey from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” What do all these female characters have in common? They were left out of products, specifically toys,  for each of their respective movies.
According to IMDb, “Avengers” was the highest grossing movie of 2012, “Guardians of the Galaxy” was the third highest grossing movie of 2014 and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was the highest grossing movie of 2015. With results like that, it’s hard to believe that any company would want to exclude a character, let alone a main protagonist, from store shelves. Yet, that’s what happened.
The most recent victim of this is Rey, the protagonist in the newest “Star Wars” installment. As an avid “Star Wars” fan, I was so excited to see that for once, a strong female character was in the protagonist role. The character not only embodies a strong new future for the movie industry, but also for young girls who don’t just want to shop in the Barbie aisle. It was disappointing to see, like in the past with other characters, Rey was left out of many toys in the first few waves of products.
According to Time Magazine, one of the biggest outcries from the public was that Rey was left out as a character option in the new “Star Wars” monopoly game, prompting the creation of the hashtag #wheresrey. Who did they replace her with? Darth Vader, who aside from being a burnt helmet that Kylo Ren broods at, is not a character in “Star Wars: the Force Awakens”, and has no business being there. Not only is it an insult to Daisy Ridley, who played the new iconic character, it’s an insult to Rey as a character.
Entertainment Weekly was the first to release a statement from Hasbro that said “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 plotline that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.”
As if the many theatrical trailers where Rey was the central focus wasn’t enough of a hint to how important she was going to be to the film.
To remedy the situation, Hasbro has announced via twitter, that they will add Rey to the newest version of the monopoly game this coming summer, and many more Rey toys will be available in the fall. It’s just a shame that so many fans, young and old, were deprived of amazing Rey merchandise to begin with.