With every new Star Wars film comes an unstoppable wave of merchandise for the movie. And with The Last Jedi hitting theaters in December, Lucasfilm has announced its global toy launch for the film, Force Friday II, a sequel of sorts to the massive Force Friday toy launch event that saw the release of toys for 2015’s The Force Awakens. The event will take place at midnight on Friday, September 1st, 2017.
The event, Lucasfilm promises, will be “a global fan event” that will see the first release of all of the “toys, collectibles, books, apparel, and more” that tie in to The Last Jedi. The first event included an 18-hour live stream that unveiled various toys with help from a variety of video bloggers across the world.
It’s no surprise that Lucasfilm is building a huge event for The Last Jedi: toys have always been a big part of the success of the Star Wars franchise. American consumers dropped $760 million on Star Wars toys alone in 2016, and with a new film coming out every year until at least 2020, it’s hard to imagine that changing.
With this year’s event, it will be important to see if Disney and its licensees have learned from earlier events by including characters like Rey in the initial run of toys. Despite being one of the lead characters in The Force Awakens, Rey was conspicuously absent. This isn’t limited to Star Wars, either. Disney left Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, and Gamora out of some of their merchandising campaigns, which prompted some of the creators of the films to call Disney out.
Rey is featured prominently on the packaging for the upcoming The Last Jedi toys, which gives us some hope that the women of Star Wars will be on store shelves later this fall alongside their male counterparts.