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“Does it come with a spear?”: Commodity activism, plastic representation, and transmedia story strategies in Disney’s Star Wars: Forces of Destiny

“Does it come with a spear?”: Commodity activism, plastic representation, and transmedia story strategies in Disney’s Star Wars: Forces of Destiny
“Does it come with a spear?”: Commodity activism, plastic representation, and transmedia story strategies in Disney’s Star Wars: Forces of Destiny
Since its acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2014, Disney has been praised for its active marketing of Star Wars to fans of all backgrounds, across a variety of platforms. Disney’s strategy places the Star Wars films front and center, but relies on a multitude of transmedia texts and paratexts to supplement this “core” narrative. These supplemental texts often attempt to diversify the core fanbase, potentially locating them within a practice Kristen J. Warner calls “plastic representation”. Plastic representation offers marginalized audiences “culturally specific contextual” versions of a franchise’s more homogenous mainstream pillars. As a case study, I take the girl-focused Forces of Destiny YouTube series and toy line (2017–2018). This article examines the tensions between how Forces of Destiny is presented by Disney and how it has been received by fans and consumers, considering how it fits into the broader context of Star Wars transmedia, commodity activism, and paratextual erasure.
Star Wars, merchandise, popular feminism, postfeminism, transmedia, commodity activism, toys, representation
0163-5069
de Bruin-Molé, Megen
50c0d19d-e9c9-4ad4-9b14-8645139e1ef9
de Bruin-Molé, Megen
50c0d19d-e9c9-4ad4-9b14-8645139e1ef9

de Bruin-Molé, Megen (2018) “Does it come with a spear?”: Commodity activism, plastic representation, and transmedia story strategies in Disney’s Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. Film Criticism, 42 (2). (doi:10.3998/fc.13761232.0042.205).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Since its acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2014, Disney has been praised for its active marketing of Star Wars to fans of all backgrounds, across a variety of platforms. Disney’s strategy places the Star Wars films front and center, but relies on a multitude of transmedia texts and paratexts to supplement this “core” narrative. These supplemental texts often attempt to diversify the core fanbase, potentially locating them within a practice Kristen J. Warner calls “plastic representation”. Plastic representation offers marginalized audiences “culturally specific contextual” versions of a franchise’s more homogenous mainstream pillars. As a case study, I take the girl-focused Forces of Destiny YouTube series and toy line (2017–2018). This article examines the tensions between how Forces of Destiny is presented by Disney and how it has been received by fans and consumers, considering how it fits into the broader context of Star Wars transmedia, commodity activism, and paratextual erasure.

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More information

Submitted date: 1 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 November 2018
Published date: November 2018
Keywords: Star Wars, merchandise, popular feminism, postfeminism, transmedia, commodity activism, toys, representation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426487
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426487
ISSN: 0163-5069
PURE UUID: 266b882d-99de-48cc-b575-8e6818fce42c
ORCID for Megen de Bruin-Molé: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4243-1995

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Date deposited: 28 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:24

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