|That's right, I'm raising a Honeybadger, a Sith Yoda, and a straight up, badass lady Sith.|
This, of course, flies in the face of the Disney/Lucas claim that they intentionally excluded Rey to avoid spoilers. To be fair, we kind of smelt it when Disney dealt it, but I've got a little message for them:
|Spoiler alert: Turns out, fans can smell your bullshit from a mile away.|
To that I say: Uh, no. That's not how representation works.
The toys we make - and how we package them - tell a story. Narratives aren't just about the words we are saying - and a grand storyteller like Disney/Lucasfilms ought to know that. Right now, with their various individually packaged Rey figures, The Force Awakens is telling a slightly better story than, say, Disney's Avengers set (which I covered already) or Disney's missing Gamora (which I covered here), but it's still a story wherein the girl doesn't get to hang with the boys, can be cast aside, and is, inessential in the The Force Awakens toy lineup.
You can't have the movie The Force Awakens without Rey, but you're suggesting that boys just go ahead and play the movie without her. Because who wants a female action figure mucking up their important playsets?
But it gets worse, because industry insiders claim that you've actually come out and said - behind closed doors of course (heaven help you get off message in front of Joss Whedon or JJ Abrams - who create strong female characters as a matter of course) - that boys don't want to play with toys that are girls. This confirmed our suspicions. Now, not only are you telling female fans that they are inessential, you're sending that message to males as well. These playsets reach our culture's boys during their formative years. The story you are writing in your merchandise tells the future husbands, best friends, uncles, and fathers of the world that what they really need for the games of their youth - which expand to the reality of their adulthood - are playsets without girls. You are telling them that not only can women be cast aside, but that they should.
And hey, no worries, you'll do it for them.
But here's the surprise twist: Women and the men who love them are increasingly aware that such narratives are harmful to ourselves and our children, and we aren't quiet. We speak to our children and friends about the situation and are willing to use our social media and buying power to ensure that everyone can hear the story you create with your toy lines and, now, at least according to an inside source, your words.
Disney/Lucasfilm, you're storytellers. Make your story better.