'Star Wars' J.J. Abrams Says a Lack of Rey Merchandise Is 'Wrong'

The female 'Star Wars' lead has been left out of a lot of the film's merchandising, and the director has taken notice.

'Star Wars'

At the Television Critics Association’s press tour today, J.J. Abrams addressed the pressing topic: #WhereIsRey? The Twittersphere has been in an uproar over the absence of one of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’s main characters, a female Jakku scavenger, from much of the film’s merchandizing. Given that it’s been estimated that 42 percent of the Star Wars audience is female, you’d think some marketing genius would have looked at the poster and thought, “Maybe a girl action figure makes sense in 2016.”

“Target’s Star Wars figurine 6-pack? Finn, Chewbacca, Poe, Kylo Ren, and two unnamed characters: a Stormtrooper officer and a First Order TIE fighter.” New York City’s public radio station, WNYC, points out the scope of this issue. “Bedspread? No Rey. Disney store display? No Rey. Barnes and Noble bobbleheads? No Rey. Walgreens shelves? No Rey.”

Abrams was doing press to promote his adaptation of Stephen King’s 11.22.63 for Hulu. It’s starring James Franco, a time traveler who’s heading back in history to save J.F.K. from being assassinated.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the director said today: “I wish I had more details about merchandising and the schedule… I’m learning things as you are. 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 merchandizing. […] 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.”

On Tuesday, Hasbro announced Rey would be included in the updated Monopoly adaptation of The Force Awakens. She’ll join the other players who hog the spotlight: Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, and Finn. A spokesperson from the company told Entertainment Weekly, “We love the passion fans have for Rey, and are happy to announce that we will be making a running change to include her in the ‘Monopoly: Star Wars’ game available later this year.”

Until then, you can satisfy your daughter’s craving for equality and self-esteem with this Go-Gurt packaging. 

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