After adult Star Wars fans and parents of wee enthusiasts pitched a fit on Twitter, Disney has announced that, whoops, never mind, they WILL be rolling out new products featuring Princess Leia. Maybe there's hope for the Mouse Star, after all!
The outcry began when film scholar Natalie Wreyford noticed the paltry Leia-related offerings and generally sad state of Star Wars merch for girls at the Disney Store. She pinged the company on Twitter and learned there were "no plans" for additional Leia products. Given that female fans of the franchise are no less die-hard than their male counterparts, that didn't go over very well, spawning the hashtag #WeWantLeia.
Now, Time reports, the Disney Store plans to roll out "several items" featuring the gun-toting diplomat from Alderaan:
"The current assortment of Star Wars products at the Disney Store launched earlier this year, and is just the beginning of what is to come," Disney spokeswoman Margita Thompson told TIME. "We're excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including several items that will feature Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy."
It's pretty absurd it took a social-media shitfit for Disney to recognize that. Of course, there were Leia toys knocking around Amazon and other retailers, but the fact that the company's official merchandiser offered little-to-nothing suggested an alarming lack of faith in the existence of female Star Wars fans young and old. (Also, offerings elsewhere tend to be disproportionately Slave Leia. Not something many parents want to give their five-year-old daughter.)
It wasn't just about the toys. It was about whether the company now responsible for Star Wars gets that this isn't simply a franchise for boys.
But hard on the heels of fantastic casting news (Lupita! Brienne of Tarth!), this is another encouraging sign that Disney has perhaps gotten it through its thick corporate skull that Star Wars isn't just for boys. This whole reboot is still on probation, but maybe, just maybe, this thing won't be a dude-bro disaster.
Photo via AP Images.