Where Are The Women Of Star Wars: Rebels?
On both facebook and twitter, Fangirls Going Rogue has been soliciting opinion about the nature in which Lucasfilm and Hasbro have been introducing the characters to the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels show on Disney XD. So far, we have been given video introductions to Chopper, Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger and Zeb Orrelios. All men (well, technically Chopper doesn't have a gender, but they talk about him as a male). And, at Toy Fair 2014 in New York, again, the figures, with the exception of one LEGO minifigure of Hera Syndulla, are all men. Where are the women's introductions? Where are the women action figures?
On their facebook page, Fangirls Going Rogue wrote:
"It is safe to say folks that Tricia and I are not fans of the gender divide that is rearing its ugly head in the wake of Star Wars Rebels news. It is important we point out that we LOVE the amount of Star Wars news that we are getting and we love all the news we are getting. What we do not like is that there is definite gender bias happening. We have only gotten announcements of Male characters from the new series and we have only gotten announcements of toys for the male characters. This is taking a leap backwards and we both feel strongly about this. We would like to hear your opinions on this issue. Does the gender divide bother you? Would you buy toys of the female heroes? How do you think this will effect little girls when they want toys of Hera and Sabine? Will they stop watching the show because they can tell the toy companies are telling them this show is not "made" for them? We would love to have everyone weigh in. If you would like to leave us a voicemail then please call 331-21-EWOKS"First, for anybody who reads my blog and supports their efforts, I'd invite you to leave them comments and let them know what you think.
Some people have said to be patient and that they will come. But, why is it that the women characters always seem to come secondary? I already wrote about why it is that, in the animated Star Wars universe, the main women characters never seem to be human, but I wanted to write this new blog entry to support Fangirls Going Rogue and their effort to spread the message.
Anyway, again, I want to reiterate my own excitement for Star Wars: Rebels. This is not a criticism about the way itself. I haven't seen enough to give a proper review. But, I am excited about the show and look forward to it.
But, as I see all this conversation, I can't help but speak out myself because I noticed the bizarre roll out of characters right away. First of all, some of you know me, but others do not. I wanted to point out that I am a guy. Not that it's really important, but I wanted to point out that guys also have very strong opinions about gender equality. I am also a guy with nephews who wants his nephews to grow up knowing that women can be heroes, too.
The problem, I think, is that toy companies and just marketing in general try to paint everything into boxes. Girls like princesses and fairies, so let's make everything pink and frilly. Boys like superheroes and aliens, so let's give them guns and spaceships. Girls like to play with girl dolls and boys like to play with boy action figures.
This is what I think has happened with the roll out of characters and their action figure counterparts with Star Wars Rebels. What I think this does is ends up not only robbing boys of the choice of having women heroes in their lives, but it also ignores the fact that girls (and women) are fans of Star Wars. And, believe me, I know many a young girl who loves Star Wars. In fact, my nephews' cousin (who is a girl) loves Star Wars even more than they do.
Given the fact that Hasbro has released its initial lineup for Star Wars: Rebels and that it does not contain action figures for either Hera or Sabine, it's probably a safe bet that we won't be seeing them in 2014. But, I always support anything that will draw attention to these issues in the hopes that things will change in the future.