The omission of female characters from movie merchandise has been a very well-publicized issue in recent years, as fans expressed frustration at seeing their favorite characters excluded from playsets and games. Guardians of the Galaxy's assassin Gamora was noticeably absent from team merchandise and "boy" clothing, while Black Widow is still missing from Avengers team toys, despite being an integral part of the group.
The latest outrage now centers on Rey, the central character of Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens, who has been left out of the usual clothing and sets of action figures despite being the star of the film.
Hasbro, in particular, is being brought to task for their latest addition of The Force Awakens Monopoly, where there are four game pieces, none of which are Rey.
The set includes two light side and two dark side characters; Finn and Kylo Ren take up two slots, both of which make sense for the game. The remaining two, however, are Luke Skywalker and Darth Vadar, two choices that perplexed fans. Darth Vadar isn't even in the film, except as a broken helmet, and Luke Skywalker appears for one scene (and doesn't even have a line).
The bizarre choice by the toy manufacturer has fans taking to social media with the hashtag #WheresRey, including a post of a letter from an 8 year old fan to the toy giant demanding to know why Rey was left out.
In response to the criticism, Hasbro told EW that they chose to exclude Rey because they didn't want to spoil the film for fans.
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
While it's possible that this was the case, many fans aren't buying the excuse. After all, Rey appeared in the trailer, as did Finn, so including them both in a game presumably wouldn't have spoiled anything. If Hasbro were concerned about spoiling which side she was on, surely Finn (an actual Stormtrooper, about as Dark Side as you can be) would be a more sensible candidate for exclusion?
Rey WILL Be Included In Future
Thankfully, however, Hasbro will be changing the characters for the next issue of the game, including Rey (presumably in place of Luke Skywalker). Speaking to EW yesterday, the company announced the change would be happening later this year.
We love the passion fans have for Rey, and are happy to announce that we will be making a running change to include her in the Monopoly: Star Wars game available later this year
It seems that the power of social media won out on this one, and fans can look forward to playing with more relevant characters in later issues. Now we can only hope that Rey will start to appear in other merchandise as well, front and center where she belongs.