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Hasbro, Your Lack of Rey Is Beyond Disturbing

Spoilers. You've been warned!

Hasbro's new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Monopoly set is lacking in a major way. The toy company did not include Rey among the miniature figure game pieces.

Rey's absence from this and other Star Wars toys is astounding, because she's the protagonist—the protagonist!—in "The Force Awakens." As one 8-year-old girl points out in her letter to Hasbro, there would be no story without her because the force awakens in her.

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It's a big deal to have a female lead in one of the top grossing movies of all time. Especially when her defining characteristic is her power. It pushes against all the stereotypes of women in film, particularly sci-fi and action but really, nearly all genres.

Rey's beauty is never an issue, and her presence in the film has nothing to do with being someone's love interest. She is principled. She pushes away Finn's hand when he ineptly tries to rescue her and, instead, rescues him. She's a badass. She flies the Millennium Falcon. She fights Kylo Ren—heir to none other than Darth Vader—and is stronger than him.

She is, literally, the good triumphing over darkness. (Excuse me while my mind is blown away by the awesomeness that is Rey.)

I mean, what is not ludicrous about the fact that she's not in these toy sets. She is essential. She's the tops. Also? She's been left out before.

A few months ago, the above toy set, also by Hasbro, was criticized for a similar absence. A Rey action figure is sold separately. The latter makes me question whether her absence is more easily explained as an attempt to get parents and fans to buy more in order to have a complete set. It's a nice cover, but I'm not convinced.

Even if you give the toymaker the benefit of the doubt, in the case of the Monopoly set there are no extra pieces. She is effectively erased. Excluded. Ignored.

What does it mean to be a girl watching Star Wars? Until now, it's meant that girls have had to strain to see themselves in these iconic stories. That's something boys never had to do. Looking at the toys, they still don't.

In the original series, Leia is one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance. She also happens to be a princess. And yet the most prominent image of her in our collective imagination is Leia, the bikini-clad slave to a space monster. In the prequels there was Padme, a character often overshadowed by ornate costumes and whose presence on the screen was almost always in relation to her male counterpart. In both cases, the women play minor roles compared to those of Luke, Han Solo and Anakin/Vader.

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The original is a masterpiece, tracing timeless themes of the hero's journey. "The Force Awakens," while marked by J.J. Abrams action-laden style, is a hero's journey once again. This one is Rey's, and her story is bound to connect with every girl in the theatre.

I expect Hasbro will finally see the light.

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