It was not long after the announcement that Disney was buying Lucasfilm and the Star Wars properties before fans realized the unintended reality of the situation: Leia would become a Disney Princess. The fans were excited for the potential that Disney could bring to marketing a true icon.
Then Disney crushed that thought with a recent announcement. The company let fans know that there were no plans to include Leia in the upcoming product lines. Princess Leia would not find a home at the Disney store. One of the biggest female icons in science fiction history would not be part of the initial run of marketing from the new ownership.
Fans were outraged. Many took to social media to tell the world how they felt about Disney not including such a powerful, positive female character. Some went as far as to accuse the animation giant of only being interested in female characters that were “cute and frilly”.
When the fans outrage reached Twitter, the hashtag #WeWantLeia was born. Searching for the term yields thousands of tweets from fans that want Disney to give them the character they want in the new product lines. The fans were going to continue until they were heard.
It is not often that a large corporate entity like Disney will surrender to fan demands and reverse an earlier decision. This time, however, the voice of the fans was too loud to be ignored. A Disney spokesperson shared the announcement with Time last week:
We’re excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including several items that will feature Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy.
Leia toys will be on their way to stores later this year in the next wave of product releases from the company. Fans have demanded that little girls be given the opportunity to share in the joy of the Star Wars universe with the boys. Disney has listened.
Disney will give fans the toys they are looking for.