“Star Wars” marketers and merchandisers came under a hail of fire for that. And now, what a difference a couple of years and mass character fandom make.
As today’s Force Friday II begins to unveil a wide swath of products — from well-articulated action figures to age-targeted books — Rey is everywhere, with Princess Leia Organa and Captain Phasma also getting some serious reproduced face time.
On the new book covers, for instance, there is cartoon Rey sprinting ahead of BB-8 on Issue No. 1 of IDW Publishing’s “Star Wars Adventures,” a monthly comic for younger readers. Captain Phasma is fronting her own Marvel miniseries, as Kelly Thompson and artist Marco Checchetto spotlight the villain in a “Last Jedi” series. And Disney/Lucasfilm Press are publishing “A Leader Named Leia” in its young-reader line, as well as best-selling author Claudia Gray’s “Leia: Princess of Alderaan” prose.
Elsewhere, Rey gets her own Elite Series action figure, Itty Bitty Plush doll and politically charged “Join the Resistance” T-shirt (how long till real “Resist!” protesters start sporting that?). That follows in line with the direction announced in April, when Lucasfilm began to unveil a series of animated shorts, collectively titled “Star Wars Forces of Destiny,” featuring the franchise’s heroines.
Yes, the new cute-as-a-puffin Porgs and “evil BB-8″ droid BB-9E will sell big, as will the retro Luke Skywalker toys. But this time, Rey’s face is front and center.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” opens Dec. 15.