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New Star Wars merchandise won’t overlook the female hero this time

Star Wars: Rogue One (Photo: Disney/Lucasfilm)
Star Wars: Rogue One (Photo: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Disney and Lucasfilm are gearing up for the December premiere of Star Wars: Rogue One, the spin-off movie that centers on a daring raid led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) that Ben Mendelssohn and his fly-ass cape will attempt to thwart. So naturally, there will be another Force Friday, the bloated marketing push that puts everything from Chewbacca SpaghettiOs to Finn toys on the shelves of big-box stores, the better to prompt you to take a sick day with. The event is scheduled for September 30, though it won’t necessarily be called Force Friday (although, that’s obviously the best way to refer to the thing).

The offerings won’t be nearly as extensive, but one thing we do know is that Jyn won’t suffer Rey’s fate in the merchandising. AdAge reports that toymakers and retailers—Hasbro and Target among them—are already planning to feature the Alliance soldier turned heist leader prominently in their products and promotions. Chris Byrne, a toy industry consultant and content director for Toys, Tots, Pets & More, assures Star Wars fans young and old that “Baby will not be left in the corner this year. There’s a heavy emphasis on vehicles, action play and all the characters.”

A Target spokesperson also confirmed to AdAge that “guests can expect to find their favorite characters, including Jyn Erso, who Disney and [Lucasfilm] have identified early on as a lead.” This remark was obviously referring to last year’s kerfuffle over the absence of Rey in the initial wave of toy lines, which prompted the “Where’s Rey?” social-media campaign. At the time, the film- and toymakers tried to defend the decision by insisting that including Rey was tantamount to spoiling the film, despite the fact that fans had already surmised that she was a central character from her presence in the trailers. (Never mind that that logic could also be applied to most any other character.) Rey was included in later toy releases, as originally intended, and even added to Star Wars Monopoly.

Everyone certainly seems to have learned their lesson on the matter of overlooking female heroes: Earlier this year, Hasbro made sure to include Black Widow in its first wave of Captain America: Civil War toys. Additionally, this summer’s Star Wars toys included Hera from Star Wars Rebels, as well as Rey. And this fall, Jyn Erso’s likeness will be featured on figurines, a playset, a Nerf blaster, as well as part of the “Go Rogue” series.


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