Hasbro Leaves Rey Out of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Monopoly Game, Gives Lame ExplanationCharles Bramesco |
As Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues its Napoleonic march to complete all-time box-office domination (today: Avatar, tomorrow: the world!), Lucasfilm has faithfully backed the film property up with the requisite deluge of merchandising tie-ins. Among the authorized branded socks, Thermoses, Mr. Potato Heads, men and women’s razors, keychains, oranges, and Furbies, all of which are real things and not jokes, the Star Wars-industrial complex has also churned out the official Force Awakens edition of popular/infuriating board game Monopoly. Knowing that a real fan wouldn’t be caught dead playing the Phantom Menace Monopoly set in the year 2016, the devoted masses hustled out to major toy retailers to procure their own copy, but found only disappointment waiting on the shelves — and not just because they were suddenly hit by the cold realization that a capitalism-themed board game about the Star Wars franchise is, at its core, a redundancy.
An item from Entertainment Weekly notes a post from Hasbro indicating that the officially licensed Force Awakens Monopoly set will include four new pewter game tokens: John Boyega as turncoat Stormtrooper Finn, Mark Hamill as adult Luke Skywalker, Adam Driver’s moody villain Kylo Ren, and Darth Vader. And so for starters, before examining any unfortunate implications inherent in these selections, it’s worth nothing that there shouldn’t even be four pieces to start with! Real Monopoly has the hat, the thimble, the shoe, the little dog, the racecar, the wheelbarrow, the battleship and the little cat, affording players the option to face off against up to seven friends, though anyone who plays Monopoly with any regularity has probably long since driven their friends away. Monopoly destroys friendships.
Hasbro’s odd choice to restrict the new game to four players notwithstanding, their picks for those four characters remain baffling. Darth Vader, for one, is not in the latest film, and Luke Skywalker only appears in the final minutes and doesn’t even have any lines. It surely wouldn’t have been too much trouble to get the manufacturers to cast a mold for fan favorite Poe Dameron or Rey, who’s only the protagonist of the film.
The toy company’s explanation is equally as baffling:
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
There were plenty of Rey toys released on Force Friday, none of which gave away any spoilers for the film.
Aggrieved Force Awakens fans have slapped Hasbro with charges of subliminal sexism and continuing a pattern of marginalization for female members of super-teams that began with the Avengers’ Black Widow and continued with Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora. Despite playing prominent roles in their respective films, both heroines largely faced exclusion from merchandising sets. Female Star Wars fans of all ages have cried foul at Rey’s erroneous omission, balancing their disgust with the disappointment at how totally common bull-honky moves like this still are.