“As disappointing as it was to see Rey left out of the Target six-pack of The Force Awakens figures, it came as an even bigger shock when fans discovered Hasbro’s popular Star Wars: The Force Awakens Battle Action Millennium Falcon set comes with a light-up Millennium Falcon, a BB-8, a Finn, a Chewbacca…and no Rey. [Hey, she’s only the PILOT - PF]
“Command the Millennium Falcon and strike against the formidable power of the First Order,” reads the Hasbro product description, accompanied by the image of a young boy playing with the set. “Imagine its amazing stealth as it dodges asteroids and blasts enemies. Its movie-accurate decoration helps capture the excitement of the latest saga.”
The omission of Rey from the Millennium Falcon—the ship that she flies in several key Force Awakens scenes—drew sharp criticism from fans. It reminded them too well of how Star Wars studio Disney similarly treated Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow this year in its male-centric rollout of Avengers toys. Despite playing a crucial role in the Avengers team of superheroes, Black Widow was included in only a fraction of Disney and Marvel’s official merchandising.
More problematically, like Rey, Black Widow was rewritten out of her out of her own scene in Age of Ultron products depicting her motorcycle-flying sequence, replaced by Captain America and Iron Man. Toy partner Hasbro did the same to Gamora, the lone female hero of Guardians of the Galaxy, who could only be found on a handful of officially licensed items despite the fact that 44 percent of the Marvel ensemble’s opening weekend audience were female.
“It’s frustrating and stuff, and it bums me out,” added Guardians director James Gunn of the Gamora toy snafu. “I had a big conversation about this yesterday with one of my producers at Marvel about trying to make sure, especially, that Gamora is represented more in [merchandise] and all the Guardians toys.”
But the difference between Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Force Awakens is that in the Star Wars sequel Rey isn’t just one member of an ensemble of heroes: She’s literally the lead character.”
Context: Leyla, a Muslim British-Indian woman, is coming out to her mother, telling her “I’m gay.” Her mother reacts with horror and disgust, telling her “You’re up to your neck in sin” and going so far as to ask “Who did this to you?”
But it’s this scene that sums up the reality of LGBTQ+ desi youth. Our parents may very well love us and want the best for us, but the absolute bottom line is: our parents do not want us to be happy. They want us to be appropriate, to be respectful, to have children and well-earning careers, to fit into the mold of heteronormativity and gender roles, to be religious and pious. But no, they do not want us to be happy. Happiness doesn’t fit into it.
To them, happiness is indistinguishable as a separate characteristic because according to them, doing all of these things should already be making us happy.
The ideal created for desi children is that they shouldn’t strive to do what makes them happy, but what makes them “good.” Unfortunately, under this context, good is defined as anything that isn’t seen as immoral or out of the norm.
A woman who is not straight is rejecting her role as a wife, and to a lesser extent, her role as a mother. She is rejecting the notion of subservience to men, of obedience and inferiority. Under our current system that is hugely patriarchal, a woman who does not submit is a threat.
Now, I’m not saying desi parents are bad parents or hate their children because it’s pretty clear this happens in nearly every other culture in the world. But I am saying that desi parents do not make their children’s happiness a priority, they make their children’s success a priority: successful careers and marriages and children = successful lives. So if you ask a desi parent “do you want your kid to be happy?” they’ll immediately say “yes, of course.” But if you add on “do you want your kid to be gay if that makes them happy?” the answer will be a lot less positive.
This movie tackled Leyla’s sexuality and coming out to her parents absolutely head-on with no coyness about it. She goes straight up to her mother and admits that she’s a lesbian. But her mother’s reaction is really the thing that most “coming out” stories try to gloss over, or sugarcoat, or just in general avoid. Her mother admits with frank and brutal honesty the truth that all LGBTQ+ desi kids know: our parents would rather see us miserable and straight than queer and happy.
“I don’t think you could tie your shoes without me.” “I’d make it a week.” “A week, really? What’s your social security number?” “…Five.” “Five? You’re missing just a couple of digits.” “Right, the other eight. Well, I have you for the other eight.”
“Cookie … jar … empty. No … hot … towels! Waxy … buildup! Zhu Li!”
“Zhu Li always greeted me in the morning with a– a hot cup of tea.”
“I can’t be expected to work without an assistant! Without Zhu Li, I’m helpless!”
تستخدم الديكتاتوريات أساليب لكى يتحكموا فى الأفكار و المعارف , كيف يفعلون ذلك ؟ بـتدنى مستوى التعليم و الثقافة المحدودة .. مراقبة المعلومات - يراقبوا أى نوع من أنواع التعبير عن النفس , و من المهم تذكر .. أن هذا نموذج يكرر نفسه عبر مر التاريخ