A leaked image of a GameStop inventory listing future products that will be available later in the year includes potential names of characters from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Since Lucasfilm has done an admirable job of keeping spoilers for the new Star Wars films out of the official trailers, fans have to look to other materials to try to learn more details in the months leading up to the premiere. It's become quite common recently for tie-in toys to reveal some critical bits of information about the plot (like an action set piece), so some viewers take great interest in the merchandise to see what can be gleaned from them. Of course, even the people at Hasbro don't know everything about the Star Wars movies, so their products are still relatively spoiler-free.
It would appear the levels of secrecy are so high, that even character names might be held from retailers until Lucasfilm is ready to reveal them. The photo of the upcoming store inventory clearly indicates new Star Wars action figures will be available around Force Friday 2017, and a handful of these are for Episode VIII. Nevertheless, there are some questions about the identities of the characters, since they may or may not be what's used in the final movie.
First appearing on Reddit (hat tip Star Wars News Net), the picture mentions five different Last Jedi figures for Hasbro's Black Series line. The names of them are Cool Beta, Foxtrot, Guards of Evil, and Victor. Whoever Victor is, he apparently is major enough to warrant two separate toys - one with a throne and one without. La Fosa del Rancor theorizes Victor could be Supreme Leader Snoke, since various Episode VIII rumors have pointed to him having a rather extravagant throne room, as well as a team of personal guards (perhaps these "Guards of Evil"). Of course, it's always possible this refers to someone else important enough to sit on a throne, but the Snoke hypothesis makes a good deal of sense, and it would be nice to see. The character did not receive an official action figure from The Force Awakens, so it seems Lucasfilm is primed to make him a larger part of promotion this time around.
As for "Cool Beta" and "Foxtrot," that's a mystery that probably won't be solved until September when the products actually come out. These monikers look to be code names to preserve some surprises. It's worth mentioning that other planned Black Series figures for this year are listed as Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Vader, and Lando Calrissian, so the toys from the new movie are being kept under wraps for now. They could be in reference to returning players like Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker or be for newcomers such as Benicio del Toro's mystery character or Kelly Marie Tran's Rose. Time will tell, but it's safe to assume that Rian Johnson did not place someone seriously named "Cool Beta" into Star Wars canon. Even for a saga episode that promises to be different, that could be a step too far.
Some may think it's ridiculous that action figures are being kept so heavily guarded, but it makes sense from a certain point of view. Lucasfilm works on their own schedule, releasing new information about their projects as they see fit, and they're obviously not ready to share this just yet. The point of the inventory list is simply to let store employees know Episode VIII Black Series toys are coming in a few month's time, and when Force Friday gets closer, Hasbro will surely reveal which characters are getting this treatment. They could be holding off until the studio puts out some more advertising to drum up anticipation.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019