According to an industry insider, the dearth of Rey merchandise for The Force Awakens was no accident — it was an intentional decision.

The inside source shared their story with Michael Boehm at Sweatpants and Coffee, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The portrait painted of Lucasfilm’s decision-making process is disheartening to say the least, and runs distinctly counter to the narrative that Rey toys were postponed to preserve the secrecy of The Force Awakens.

The source alleges that, during toy pitches held last January for executives, “initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently.” But under the direction of the executives, Rey’s presence was deliberately minimized in the planned merchandise.

“One or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products,” Boehm reports. “Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise.”

Allegedly, the industry insider was told, “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”

rey star wars toys

While the word of an anonymous source might be easy to dismiss, the allegations certainly seem to dovetail with what consumers have experienced in stores — and not just for Rey. The mysterious absence of female characters in merchandise and toys is now almost a free-standing trope. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Gamora, Star Wars Rebels‘ Hera, and The Avengers‘ Black Widow are among the high-profile victims, inexplicably forgotten in everything from play sets to tee-shirts.

“Diminishing of girl characters is common in the industry,” the anonymous source relates. “Power Rangers asked us to do it. Paw Patrol, too.” Allegedly, this philosophy has developed into a solid mandate in the toy industry to “maintain the sharp boy/girl product division” and “marginalize girl characters in items not specifically marketed as girl-oriented.”

But the extreme cultural impact of Star Wars, coupled with Rey’s inarguable prominence in The Force Awakens, has thrust the question of “Where’s Rey?” (and its corresponding hashtag) into the spotlight. Most notably, Hasbro was recently compelled to reassure fans that the movie’s main character would be included in an upcoming Monopoly set.

Corroborating the Lucasfilm insider’s assertions is John Marcotte, founder of the non-profit Heroic Girls.

“I’ve spoken with Disney people, and they were completely blindsided by the reaction to the new Star Wars characters,” he tells Boehm. “They put a huge investment into marketing and merchandizing the Kylo Ren character. They presumed he would be the big breakout role from the film. They were completely surprised when it was Rey everyone identified with and wanted to see more of.”

“Now they’re stuck with vast amounts of Kylo Ren product that is not moving, and a tidal wave of complaints about a lack of Rey items.”

It even seems possible that Lucasfilm’s underestimation of Rey’s popularity extended into their plans for Episode VIII. According to several sources, the recently-announced delay on the film is partly do to script revisions — which will bring the characters of Rey, Finn, and Poe into greater prominence than initially planned.

It’s not unusual for companies to misjudge the popularity of their properties; anyone buying toys in 1997 will remember a Phantom Menace market flooded with Darth Maul and Jar Jar merchandise. But properties focused on, or even including girls, seems disproportionately afflicted. It’s hard to believe now, but even Disney’s blockbuster princess hit Frozen was unprepared, forcing parents to take desperate measures to satisfy children who wanted to bring Anna, Elsa, and Olaf into their lives.

For far too long, fans searching for merchandise of their favorite female characters have been told that the onus is on their wallets. “Buy the toys that are out there,” the message has echoed, even as fans scour the unyielding shelves for a green-skinned assassin, a black-clad Avenger — and now a fearless young woman who hums with the power of the Force.

It is time to reverse the conversation. Toy and merchandise companies must stop taking a character’s gender into consideration when including them in products. Put Gamora with the rest of the Guardians. Leave Black Widow on her motorcycle. And when Star Wars: Episode VIII finally arrives, don’t make us ask “Where’s Rey?”

We should find her in the center of the action. On toy pegs, on tee-shirts, on bed sheets, and pencil-cases. Rey should be everywhere.

Right where she belongs.

More Star Wars on Hypable:

Is Star Wars setting up Poe Dameron as its first queer protagonist?

Star Wars deja-vu: All the parallels between Episodes IV and VII

Princess Leia: Leader, warrior, feminist BAMF

In a new trailer for The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, we see what the creature can do while still inside her sarcophagus. Imagine what’ll happen once she gets out.

When the previous teaser trailer dropped, we remarked on how Universal’s first outing in its shared monster universe is shaping up to be a good old-fashioned scary movie.

This second trailer definitely puts an emphasis on the action, as we see Cruise’s character enduring all kinds of destruction even before the princess mummy is raised from her tomb.

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In a new trailer for The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, we see what the creature can do while still inside her sarcophagus. Imagine what’ll happen once she gets out.

When the previous teaser trailer dropped, we remarked on how Universal’s first outing in its shared monster universe is shaping up to be a good old-fashioned scary movie.

This second trailer definitely puts an emphasis on the action, as we see Cruise’s character enduring all kinds of destruction even before the princess mummy is raised from her tomb.

Watch the full-length trailer for The Mummy below:

The description for the video reads:

Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.

Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Cruise is joined by a cast including Annabelle Wallis (upcoming King Arthur, television’s Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (TV’s American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson) and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator).

The creative team on this action-adventure event is led by director/producer Alex Kurtzman and producer Chris Morgan, who have been instrumental in growing some of the most successful franchises of the past several years — with Kurtzman writing or producing entries in the Transformers, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible series, and Morgan being the narrative engineer of the Fast & Furious saga as it has experienced explosive growth from its third chapter on. Sean Daniel, who produced the most recent Mummy trilogy, produces alongside Kurtzman and Morgan.

Despite initial criticism over rebooting The Mummy franchise, this film certainly looks to be a different beast than the one starring Brendan Fraser. Better yet, it also looks to be a movie worthy of Cruise’s action hero status.

New ‘The Mummy’ images

The new trailer also came with several new images starring the main players of the film, and some great shots of Sofia Boutella as the mummy herself.

The Mummy Annabelle Wallis sarcophagus

The Mummy Annabelle Wallis

The Mummy Russell Crowe

The Mummy Sofia Boutella 2

The Mummy Sofia Boutella eyes

The Mummy Sofia Boutella

The Mummy Tom Cruise Annabelle Wallis 2

The Mummy Tom Cruise Annabelle Wallis 3

The Mummy Tom Cruise Annabelle Wallis

The Mummy Tom Cruise Jake Johnson

The Mummy Tom Cruise sarcophagus

The Mummy Tom Cruise water

The Mummy Tom Cruise

What do you think of the new ‘The Mummy’ trailer?

This week Emma Stone hosted SNL with musical guest Shawn Mendes. Check out some of the highlights from the episode!

‘SNL’ Cold Open

The show poked fun at Donald Trump’s social media activity including his retweeting of teenagers. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway. Interestingly, Donald Trump tweeted about SNL while this sketch was airing.

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This week Emma Stone hosted SNL with musical guest Shawn Mendes. Check out some of the highlights from the episode!

‘SNL’ Cold Open

The show poked fun at Donald Trump’s social media activity including his retweeting of teenagers. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway. Interestingly, Donald Trump tweeted about SNL while this sketch was airing.

Opening Monologue

In the opening monologue, Emma Stone reminisced about her previous appearances as host. It all led up to an awkward rendezvous with Bobby Moynihan.

The Hunt For Hil

In a digital sketch, the show spoofed the Hillary Clinton sightings happening in her hometown in upstate New York. Check out The Hunt for Hil.

Jennifer Aniston meets Vanessa Bayer’s Rachel from ‘Friends’

Jennifer Aniston stopped by Weekend Update during Vanessa Bayer’s incredible Rachel impression. Aniston and Bayer star in the new movie “Office Christmas Party.” Check out the cameo below!

Debette Goldry

Kate McKinnon reprised her character Debette Goldry — a golden age actress who had to do crazy things to get the roles she wanted.

Shawn Mendes performs on ‘SNL’

Shawn Mendes performed two songs on the show as well. Check out his performances of “Treat You Better” and “Mercy.”

Coming Up on ‘SNL’

Next week John Cena will host SNL with musical guest Maren Morris. On December 17 Casey Affleck will host along with musical guest Chance the Rapper.

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The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is finally here! If this trailer is anything to go by, the movie will be just as good as the first!

Guardians of the Galaxy was a major hit because of its offbeat characters, and own brand of humor not yet seen in Marvel movies. Fans have anxiously been waiting to see if the sequel would live up to the hype of the first film. The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gives us a glimpse at what’s to come, and we’re loving it!

Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 below:

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The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is finally here! If this trailer is anything to go by, the movie will be just as good as the first!

Guardians of the Galaxy was a major hit because of its offbeat characters, and own brand of humor not yet seen in Marvel movies. Fans have anxiously been waiting to see if the sequel would live up to the hype of the first film. The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gives us a glimpse at what’s to come, and we’re loving it!

Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 below:

Most notable in the trailer is baby Groot! He was well-loved in the first film and many wondered how involved he would become in the second film, given that he had been reborn after saving his friends. It appears that baby Groot will be just as involved in the action as before, and is causing trouble of his own! It should be fun seeing if Rocket can keep up with his friend as he grows.

Also touched upon in the trailer is Star-Lord’s feelings for Gamora. Somehow his friends are surprised by this news, and Drax even thinks it’s hilarious when the secret is made public. This whole scene makes us even more anxious to see this group together again. Only a couple more months to go! May 2017, can you please hurry up?

The official synopsis for the film teases:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

What do you think of the first teaser trailer for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’?