With this post, I’m admittedly way late to the discussion of how Hasbro foolishly left Rey—the main character of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it is shamefully necessary to stress—out of their recently released tie-in Monopoly game. As utterly wrongheaded a decision as that was on Hasbro’s part, the scarcity of Rey toys elsewhere did not escape the notice of fans of both genders; thanks to the Force (ahem) of the social media hashtag #WheresRey, along with a (very wise) letter from a flabbergasted 8-year-old girl, the company changed its mind and will rightly include the space opera’s latest heroic icon in the game.
The general outcry grew for over a month before the game-making Empire (ahem, again) took action…so, not exactly a lightspeed course correction, but welcome all the same.
Today on television, Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri said it best — “Cool characters transcend gender.” The whole issue has me both baffled and having flashbacks to my toy-collecting years. Maybe I was the odd boy in the crowd, but of course I wanted Princess Leia just like I wanted Luke, Han, Darth Vader, and the walking trashcan droid. How could you “make your own adventures” without one of the three main characters?
How could you have a complete Justice League without Wonder Woman? Who would want only three of the Fantastic Four? Who’s gonna run communications on the Enterprise but Lt. Uhura? And yes, I darn well owned Batgirl, too…well, OK, because even then, I was just gaga for Yvonne Craig. Yes, I had ALL of those. (And still do, mostly boxed away. Leia, above, was easy enough for me to retrieve.)
While I have distinct memories of my parents looking at me a little funny whenever I expressed a wish to own one of the female characters, to their absolute credit, they would get those for me, too. I thought negative judgments about that kind of thing were ridiculous when I was a kid, and they’re ridiculous now.
(The real Dark Side of this whole saga is that it’s almost certain to be the case that the Rey-less Monopoly will be the one that’s “worth” something to collectors in the future, when what it’s really worth is nothing.)