Triple Force Friday hit, not only with toys, but various merchandise to promote the upcoming Episode IX of the Star Wars saga. Yet again on several pieces, a certain Resistance technician turned commander is missing, leaving me once again to ask: Where’s Rose?
Like many fans, I was out today to scour the Earth for new Star Wars merchandise, and I will not prevaricate: I got some good stuff. Sitting at home tonight though I noticed a tag on Twitter was trending. Once again, there were an awful lot of hits for #wheresRose. This is not a question to which I am a stranger. I’ve talked about an early scarcity of Rose Tico images in promotional material before.
Things seemed to be getting better though. As noted by Dork Side’s own Susan Lulgjuraj a couple weeks back, Rose was showing up in some comic book, and a shirt where Rose’s image had replaced “Klaud,” a new alien, to be rightfully placed among Resistance heroes. That shirt could be seen on StarWarsNews.net. I thought it might be time to rest easier.
Several Twitter users though have pointed out that the shirt that actually hit stores has been altered. Rose would appear to have been removed. Twitter user @JennyENicholson found other examples in this thread showing including collector cards, tote bags, and other shirts.
So what is going on? It would be easy enough to chalk this up to an oversight on the part of marketing at Disney if–like Finn recently–there had been fewer appearances as the story being promoted is tied to the larger Jedi vs. Sith aspects of the film’s plot. In this case however, it would seem someone rightfully added her to earlier plans, and someone somewhere made a conscious decision to again remove Rose Tico from these images.
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Now, there is merchandise with Rose coming, such as this shirt (which I just ordered) and cardboard standees as shown here. The apparently deliberate erasure of the character however could easily be interpreted as giving into the vociferous trolls.
Those people who chased Kelly Marie Tran off Instagram, and whose attacks on both character and actress went beyond simple dislike of a fictional character and into real-world misogyny and racism. That’s not a good look for Disney.
I want to give the creators the benefit of the doubt, I want to applaud those bits of merchandise that do feature Rose. Also, I want to hear this addressed. Erasure is disappointing, disheartening, and counter to the message Star Wars has always represented. Lucasfilm, Disney, please tell us:
Does this seem deliberate? Does it reflect Rose’s role in the new film? Respectfully sound off below!