With the 2017 Star Wars celebration almost upon us, the head honchos at Lucasfilm have already begun to release snippets of information to eager fans. Following on from yesterday's competition announcement, Star Wars today stated they would be launching Star Wars Forces of Destiny, a new series of animated shorts on YouTube— with some very exciting accompanying merchandise.
There's nothing fans love more than getting their hands on some sweet loot, but the latest offerings from Hasbro's #StarWars line is something that's been long awaited. Why? Because just like the upcoming Forces of Destiny series, the focus will be on some of your favorite female heroines from a galaxy far, far away.
A New Line Of Toys For A Broader Fan Base
The official announcement on the Star Wars website boasts that "there’s never been an all-star lineup like this in any galaxy", and they're certainly not wrong. The franchise earned itself quite the negative reputation after a distinct lack of Rey merchandise following the release of The Force Awakens— despite her being the main character in the movie.
This marketing blunder highlighted a serious issue of underrepresentation in the franchise, and sent the troubling message that Star Wars really weren't all that interested in acknowledging their female fan base, let alone considering them a marketable demographic.
But judging from this latest announcement, Lucasfilm are eager to be more inclusive of their non-male fans, and Hasbro president John Frascotti is completely on board:
"As the Star Wars fan base has broadened over the last 40 years, we have continued to add new and exciting play experiences to the Star Wars brand, to engage fans across generations. We’ve worked closely with Disney to bring the storytelling from 'Star Wars Forces of Destiny' to life through this innovative toy line to help connect with new audiences as well as appeal to existing fans."
Hasbro's new line of "Adventure Figurines" intends to do just that, acting as a welcome reprieve from the sea of Stormtrooper and Kylo Ren merchandise that currently occupies toy stores everywhere.
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Which Characters Will Be Included?
To be fair, there are plans for Kylo Ren and other male characters to join the toy line. However, chairman of #Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Jimmy Pitaro feels it's necessary to "celebrate the power and stories" of Star Wars' most beloved female characters:
"From Princess Leia to Sabine Wren, Star Wars heroines are unique, and we wanted to represent that in the product line for 'Star Wars Forces of Destiny'."
As well as the above mentioned characters, the #ForcesOfDestiny series will showcase adventures from fellow heroines Jyn Erso, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Hera Syndulla and Leia Organa. So far, Sabine, Leia, Jyn and Rey figurines have been confirmed— fingers crossed we get to see Star Wars Rebels characters Hera and Ahsoka, too!
Making Amends In All The Right Ways
This isn't the first attempt to undo the damage of the "Where's Rey?" protest. Eager to avoid more negative publicity, the very first Rogue One toy reveal took place during the 2016 Star Wars Celebration in the form of a rather apt Jyn Erso figurine. Fellow Star Wars actor Gwendoline Christie handed the toy to a thrilled Felicity Jones onstage, welcoming her to the club.
While these figurines are great, female characters have long been missing from other merchandise, too. To further combat this, Hasbro will be producing a ton of Forces of Destiny goodies.
In addition to the aforementioned 11-inch "dynamic action" figurines, fans will soon be able to buy everything from Forces of Destiny clothing and books, to homewares such as bedding and more. But the most exciting of all has to be Rey's extendable staff, ideal for defending your hoard whilst scavenging on Jakku, or fighting off shady figures trying to snatch your droid.
What do you think of this new line of Star Wars toys?