Is there prejudice or discrimination in the toy world? Pixar’s Toy Story franchise showed that these objects come to life and interact with one another when there are no humans around to see them. Those films also depicted some pretty epic toy struggles for dominance and established that there is a definite pecking order among playthings. The green plastic soldiers, for instance, accepted that they were the most easily expendable of their kind, while that poor penguin suffered almost criminal neglect.
These kinds of issues are implicit in Go Rogue, a new, four-part series of stop-motion animated films created in anticipation of Rogue One, the hotly anticipated Star Wars spinoff movie. The film itself does not come out until December 16 of this year, but the toys based on it will be released on September 30. There will be various Rogue One tchotchkes from Hasbro, Funko, Lego, Jakks Pacific, and more. Since the merchandising bonanza created by the first Star Wars film, the toys receive nearly as much attention and scrutiny as the movies themselves. And now, they even have a story of their own.
The fan-made Go Rogue, directed by Dan McKenzie and Tucker Barrie and written by Kevin Ulrich, suggests a universe in which Star Wars toys from various lines and scales freely intermingle in the Toy Story tradition. While the plum roles, including that of protagonist Jyn Erso, go to action figures, there are important parts for Funko Pop! bobbleheads and Lego minifigures as well. Even here, though, there is evidence of prejudice. After swiping some top secret Death Star plans, Jyn Erso finds herself confronted by some Lego Stormtroopers and is less than intimidated. “Aren’t you guys a little short to be Stormtroopers?” she asks, rather condescendingly. “We prefer ‘vertically challenged,’” one testily responds before being blown away by an action figure of pilot Bodhi Rook.
But even action figures, despite their prominence among Star Wars toys, are not at the very top of the food chain in Go Rogue. Those aforementioned Lego Stormtroopers take their orders directly from a macrocephalic Funko Pop! bobblehead of Orson Krennic, who is to serve as the chief baddie of Rogue One. In Go Rogue, Krennic’s grotesquely oversized noggin apparently gives him authority to boss everyone else around.