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Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams says it’s “preposterous and wrong” that star female newcomer Rey has been largely ignored in the film’s official merchandise.
Speaking at an event over the weekend, Abrams said he made calls as soon as he discovered manufacturer Hasbro had excluded Rey from merchandise while including fellow newcomer Finn.
The hashtags #WhereisRey and #WheresRey ballooned on social media as fans accused the franchise of sexism and shared photos of examples where the film’s new female hero was missing.
Toy producer Hasbro said they had to leave Rey – an orphan who is now suspected to be either a child of Luke Skywalker or General Leia Organa – out of merchandise for fear of spoilers. Now that I’ve seen Force Awakens, I’m even more angry about #whereisrey. #WheresRey— Jessica Luther (@scATX) December 22, 2015Hasbro – just admit you screwed up. #WheresRey#whereisrey— Meg Griffin (@MeggGriffin) January 6, 2016
“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,” Hasbro said in a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly.
Abrams said he only learned of Hasbro’s decision at the same time as audiences, and was equally unimpressed.
“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.
”I read that she wasn’t in the Monopoly game and was quickly making phone calls about this because if it were true — and it is true, and now Hasbro, of course, has said they’re going to put Rey in — it doesn’t quite make sense why she wouldn’t be there. She’s somewhat important in the story.”
Fans said it was “messed up” figurines of the resilient protagonist weren’t available in box sets or the Millenium Falcon package, when she pilots the ship for the majority of The Force Awakens.
Hasbro have since announced a variety of Rey figurines will be available later this month.
The Force Awakens has been well-recieved by the majority of fans despite claims it is a remake which closely follows the plot of the original Star Wars trilogy.
The film remained no.1 at the box office for the fourth consecutive weekend and has so far earned US$1.73 billion worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing movie ever made, behind Avatar (US$2.78 billion) and TItanic (US$2.18 billion). Um, shouldn’t Rey have been included in the new Millennium Falcon toy set?? #wheresreypic.twitter杭州龙凤论坛m/XMYDOtsyG5— Jen Mayhew (@JenM512) December 21, 2015Messed up – Star Wars fans wonder why female character’s missing from toy stores #WheresReyhttps://t杭州龙凤论坛/mtCauuL2qHpic.twitter杭州龙凤论坛m/rPrsgMIGsF— Paul Canetti (@paulcanetti) December 20, 2015