“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” spoilers ahead.
Last night, my girlfriend and I finished the main story of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” playset for Disney Infinity 3.0 — the only official video game tie-in to the new movie.
The way the Disney Infinity 3.0 game itself works is both simple and addictive: The more $15 action figures and $35 playsets you buy, the more game you get.
“The Force Awakens” set is one of the latter. It includes action figures of heroes Finn and Rey, alongside a plastic piece that activates a movie-themed adventure when you dock it with the so-called “Infinity Base.” Place Finn and Rey on the Infinity Base, and they become playable characters.
“The Force Awakens” adventure is good, and well worth the time, especially for kids who may not be old enough for the movie itself, as it glosses over some of the heavier elements. Han Solo, for instance, just kind of vanishes towards the end.
But the way it handles breakout Star Wars character Rey, played on screen by Daisey Ridley, is a huge letdown, especially for fans excited that the films finally have an awesome woman Jedi. She never gets playable access to her Jedi powers in the course of the game.
Just like in the movie, Finn acqires Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber at the smuggler’s hideaway on Takodana. Also like the movie, Finn isn’t especially good at using it: It does a little extra damage when you use it in a combo, but as a non-Force user, he’s not blocking blaster bolts or cleaving enemies in twain.
This was good, this was fine. We patiently waited for the story to progress to the point where Rey would start showing her Force powers — something my girlfriend, as a fan of Rey in particular and rad leading ladies in general, was excited to experience.
But then we get to the climactic final duel with the sinister Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base. And we defeat him. All without Rey having access to any kind of Jedi powers, or the lightsaber. She does pick up the lightsaber — but only in an unplayable cinematic cutscene, while she duels Kylo.
Indeed, when the game starts up again after the credits roll on the main story, Finn still has his vestigal lightsaber. And Rey still only has her staff and her blaster pistol. A post to the official Disney Infinity forums seems to confirm that no matter how much you play, Rey never gets to hold it.
Rey’s figure doesn’t have the lightsaber in question, but we kind of figured that was because they were trying to keep her identity as a Jedi-in-waiting a secret, as they had in basically all promotional material for the movie.
It’s a frustration only compounded by Disney’s apparent reluctance to include female characters from the new movie like Rey or Captain Phasma in the Star Wars merchandise lines.
The Daily Beast and others have reported that there are precious few Rey toys in general, and so it’s a letdown again that the one that most people will probably get doesn’t even give Rey her full due.
For comparison, the Disney Infinity version of series hero Luke Skywalker has a lightsaber, blaster, and access to the Force. His progenitor Anakin Skywalker, protagonist of the prequel trilogy, has flashy lightsaber moves that turn him into a walking Cuisinart.
I hope Disney will release some kind of update or expansion to the game that gives Rey her proper lightsaber and Jedi skills. It’s a disappointing omission from a series that’s supposed to be all about empowering players.