Days ago, the internet erupted in a tizzy when it was pointed out that the new ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ edition of the grandfather of all board games Monopoly did not include a playing piece of Rey played by Daisy Ridley. It’s nothing new for toy companies to omit female characters from boy-targeted merchandise. Last year, Black Widow’s absence from much of the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ merchandise was the subject of much debate and criticism. And while Black Widow is the most prominent female character in Marvel’s vast cinematic universe, Rey is arguably the MAIN character in the new ‘Star Wars’. And on top of that, unlike an action figure line, Monopoly knows no gender. It’s a game for everybody, or so it seemed.
Unfortunately, the Rey contraband isn’t limited to Monopoly. Fans have been vocal about the scarcity of Rey merchandise across the board in comparison to male characters Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren and even BB-8!
The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens Monopoly’ game includes tokens based on Finn and Kylo Ren as well as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker from the original trilogy.
Then came this handwritten letter from an 8 year-old girl named Annie Rose, which was posted on Twitter:
— Carrie Goldman (@CarrieMGoldman) January 4, 2016
While some have cast doubt on the authenticity of the plea, it was enough for Hasbro, who manufactures the game and the majority of other ‘Star Wars’ merch, to issue a statement explaining the reasoning behind leaving Rey out of the game.
“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 is] thrilled with the popularity of this compelling character and will continue to look for ways to showcase Rey across all of our product lines… Fans will see more Rey product hitting store shelves this month, including 6″ and 12″ Rey action figures.”
Rey does appear in other licensed games including ‘The Force Awakens’ versions of Guess Who? and Hands Down.
Is this explanation sufficient? I’m not sure how a Monopoly game would spoil a movie plot, since the game itself doesn’t really have a plot. (Then again, I haven’t played this version of Monopoly so maybe it’s different from the regular game.)
Is Hasbro’s explanation enough? Or will you be skipping ‘Star Wars’ Monopoly until they issue a version featuring Rey? Or would you rather stick to playing the thimble in the regular game?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter