Disney and Lucasfilm are teaming up to introduce something new to the doll aisle: The Force. Star Wars Forces of Destiny is a new initiative showcasing the female heroes of the Star Wars universe; including Rey, Jyn Esro, Sabine Wren, Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano and Padme Amidala. The initiative includes toys, animated shorts, clothing and books.
“Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage or Ahsoka’s tenacity,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm.
The centerpiece of Forces of Destiny is a new doll line-up that Disney is referring to as “Adventure Figures” — a hybrid between action figures and traditional 11” dolls for girls. The dolls might be the same height as a traditional fashion doll, but that’s where the similarities end.
The “Adventure Figures” are fully articulated so you can pose them any way you like — just like an action figure. Their feet aren’t pointed, so there are no high heels in sight. Their outfits are replicated from the movies and television series, so practical clothing is the order of the day. And their hands are formed to hold weapons — whether it is Rey’s staff, Ahsoka’s lightsabers or Leia’s blaster.
Before they are have even hit the shelves, the Adventure Figures are getting rave reviews.
“We all know, girls can be heroes too. Strength and heroism are not inherently masculine traits. They’re human traits. It’s healthy for boys and girls alike to see girls’ strength–not just on screen, but in children’s material culture, as well,” said Rebecca Hains, author of The Princess Problem.
“I think [they] are really well done, and are much more in line with how girls view themselves, their capabilities, and their potential to be the hero,” added Melissa Atkins Wardy, founder of Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies. “Equally important, these action figures reflect how many young boys see girls – strong, confident, reliable friends.”
But before the dolls launch, fans will first be introduced to Star Wars Forces of Destiny as a web micro-series on Disney’s YouTube channel. The two-minute episodes will show moments of small heroism from the women of the Star Wars universe, and will be firmly rooted in the established canon. The 2-D animation is impressive, but fans will likely be most excited by the cast.
“We’re thrilled so many of the original original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are,” said Kennedy.
Familiar voices include Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn Esro), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka) with narration provided by Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata). The first eight episodes will launch in July, with an additional eight following in the Fall, when they will be collected for a two-part television special and aired on the Disney Channel.
Telling these kind of action and adventure stories featuring girls and women is important, according to Dr. Janina Scarlet, author of Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind.
“We learn by observation,” Scarlet noted. “Heroic stories with female characters or heroic toys tell girls that they are capable. We need to teach our girls how to be courageous, how to feel fear and do the right thing anyway. We need to show them that they are capable of more than they realize.”
It appears that with Star Wars Forces of Destiny, Disney and Lucasfilm are aiming to do just that.
Check out the first clip from the show on our Facebook page, and look below to see a behind the scenes announcement video.
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