The closer we get to the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the more it should become apparent that the call of the Force knows no bounds—everyone loves Star Wars. Everyone.
Certain companies have had difficulties acknowledging the fact the women, being a part of "everyone," are also a part Star Wars fanbase. One would think that other manufacturers might have learned a thing or two about how not release merchandise intended to appeal to a mass audience, but, unfortunately, one would be wrong.
Today, Target released its all-new, exclusive set of The Force Awakens action figures and—surprise—none of the film's leading female characters are included. Pinn, Chewbacca, and Kylo Ren all show up, and there's even an unnamed Storm Tooper and TIE fighter.
Missing are Daisy Ridley's Rey—the leading woman who's been featured prominently in nearly every piece of promotional material for the movie—and Captain Phasma, the badass Chrometrooper played by Gwendoline Christie that everybody not-so-secretly wants to be.
Earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams explained that increasing the amount of representation for women and minorities in the Star Wars universe was one of his key goals in signing on to the project.
In addition to casting John Boyega, a black man, and Daisy Ridley, a woman, as the film's two leads, Abrams insisted that The Force Awakens would make a point of including more characters from ethnic backgrounds not traditionally seen in older Star Wars movies.
"I think it's important people see themselves represented in film," Abrams said. "I think it's not a small thing."
While being able to see one's self on the big screen in sci-fi epics is indeed a powerful thing, it's important to remember that franchises like Star Wars aren't really just about the movies. Long after this film is no longer in theories, the merchandise will still be on shelves jockeying for kids' attention and parents' cash.
What good is a franchise rebooted with diversity in mind if that diversity isn't carried over across all media?
Disclosure: Fusion is partly owned by Disney’s ABC network. Disney also owns Lucasfilm and Star Wars.