Toys ‘R’ Us commercial embraces Star Wars fangirls

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I saw this commercial a few days ago when it got shared on Facebook, and will proudly admit to punching the air right at the very end. If you haven’t seen it yet, just watch it — you’ll see what I mean. It’s a great moment (one that’s almost ruined by the cheesy, very non-Williams fanfare tacked on at the end — almost).

Even though I don’t have any girls, I still identify with the Dad, “Steven”: Raised in Star Wars’ prime, I have children who like the Saga but just don’t seem to be as passionate about it as I am. My youngest, 11, is looking forward to seeing The Force Awakens (he knows what’s good for him) but I’ve accepted that it’s not going to be the event for him that it will be for me. (“You’re watching that trailer again, Dad?)

At least, I don’t think it will be — you never know. It could be one of those turning points in fandom … if I don’t force it, so to speak.

Star Wars nostalgia is a genre itself these days, and this isn’t the only ad to capitalize on it — not even recently.

Last week, a PlayStation holiday TV spot captured the experience of the Star Wars generation to hype the upcoming Battlefront game, and it was awesome — but like so many things in gaming and pop culture, it portrayed fandom as a boys-only club.

It’s not. Star Wars fangirls are not just arriving on the scene — it’s the marketers who are late to the party.

Princess Leia could always take care of herself, even if she was just about the only female character in the entire Original Trilogy. The Prequels’ Queen Amidala kicked major ass, in the Senate Hall and on the battlefield. (Anakin: “What about Padme?” Obi-Wan: “She seems to be on top of things.”) Ahsoka Tano grew into a defining character in TV’s Clone Wars and continues to help shape the destiny of a galaxy in RebelsAnd in The Force Awakens, we seem to have the most central female character yet in Daisy Ridley’s mysterious scavenger Rey, plus Lupita Nyong’o in an obviously influential role and Gwendoline Christie as the most badass stormtrooper we’ve ever seen.

And never mind the fact that while it’s good to have gender-specific role models available to them, that’s not the end-all-be-all — girls aren’t only interested in watching the adventures of other females.

Updated 10/30/15: Duracell’s got the right idea, too. “What took you so long?”, indeed!

It’s just a great time to be a Star Wars fan — whatever your chromosomal makeup. (Just leave the midi-chlorians out of this.)

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Jayson Peters

Digital, social and print media pro. Nerdvana's founder, curator and editor.

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