This site, and those of us behind it, set out on this new year with a mission. As Dustin wrote, we— and I know that that “we” extends to a larger swath of humanity than just pop culture writers— want to be lighter, and less angry; we want to regain some of that not-at-all-perfect-but-pretty-sweet-in-retrospect worldview we had before Gamergate, before Ferguson and all the horrors just like it, before Donald Trump was a presidential candidate and before we knew what a monster Bill Cosby was. We were ready to maintain a critical eye, but to leave our outrage at the door unless absolutely necessary. That was our goal.
But Hasbro’s new Star Wars merchandise is making it REALLY FREAKING HARD TO MEET THAT GOAL.
Because this is the special Star Wars: The Force Awakens Monopoly set the toy company just released:
Yup. You can play as Finn, Luke, Kylo Ren, or Darth Vader. I can understand (in theory) wanting to include a classic character or two, even though this is being marketed and labeled as a specifically Episode VII set, not a full franchise set, but there is NO reason why Rey would be left out. Oh, except the obvious one.
I was actually hoping that this was a case of manufactured outrage, and that the photo was just cropped to leave out other characters, especially since almost every other Monopoly set ever made has had at least six tokens to choose from. But nope.
We’ve been through this before, of course. These merchandising companies still don’t seem to understand that we WANT to give them our money! Lots of it! And that if they had Rey toys— especially since Rey has been shown to be the overwhelming fan favorite character— that’s exactly what we’d do.
The absence of Rey has sparked the Twitter hashtag #WheresRey, which has luckily made us aware of this awesome eight-year-old girl, who has described the merchandisers’ stupidity as only an eight-year-old could.
Thank you, little girl. This has to get through to someone eventually, right?
Edit: Hasbro did confirm what a lot of people were speculating— that they left Rey out to avoid spoilers.
Personally, I think this explanation is pretty damn flimsy. Even if the game is divided by Light and Dark Side characters, her inclusion wouldn’t give anything away about a story between her and Kylo Ren. And we wouldn’t know anything more about her role other than that she probably isn’t a villain. Which doesn’t seem to be a spoiler for Finn’s character, since they included him. Nice try, Hasbro but we’re not buying it.