It's an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. Not only is there a whole new era of films kicking off this December when J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens arrives in theaters, the impending release of the movie also brings about countless items of Star Wars merchandise for consumers to buy. And when something like Star Wars is involved, the toys are always going to rank amongst the best-sellers.
The plan was for Star Wars: The Force Awakens related product lines to be made available to the public on September 4, 2015, an event that has been dubbed "Force Friday." However, one Toys 'R' Us location in Canada simply could not wait to start racking up the profits and has seemingly made the first Force Awakens toy sale a month early.
A reader of the Star Wars fan site Rebelscum.com - identified as "Chad H" - sent the site a gallery of photos detailing the number of Force Awakens toys in stock at the store (including Nerf guns) and a detailed look at the MicroMachines Millennium Falcon play set.
Examining the series of photos, it's safe to say this is hardly the most impressive Star Wars toy ever created. The Falcon set only comes with a single figure (dubbed the First Order flame trooper) and a smaller version of the Falcon that you can have fly around. It appears to be trying to recreate the highly-publicized Jakku air chase between the Falcon and TIE Fighters from the trailers, only it's missing some vital pieces. One of the pictures advertises a First Order Stormtrooper play set that unfolds to show more of the Jakku landscape (and has a figure of its own), so maybe this will complete the scene.
Since official information about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is hard to come by, fans will no doubt be analyzing Chad's photos to see if any of the rumors are confirmed or denied by the toy. In this case, it's very difficult to say. The play set is extremely limited in what it is offering, and we already know from the previews that the Falcon will be flying around Jakku for a certain amount of time. At first blush, it doesn't appear to reveal much (if any) new information.
That said, the classification of a "flame trooper" could provide some hints. Months ago, it was speculated that in The Force Awakens' opening sequence, the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and a group of stormtroopers (including John Boyega's Finn) come to Jakku in search of a lightsaber. During the confrontation, Finn allows innocent villagers to escape, which angers Kylo Ren. As a result, the evildoer orders that the village be burned to the ground. It doesn't take a weapons expert to see how soldiers equipped with flamethrowers would be beneficial in this regard.
This could be us reading too much into something (frequently, merchandise and toys feature elements that are not part of the films), but based on what we've heard previously about The Force Awakens, it's logical to assume the Falcon play set is in part connected to the rumored opening sequence. There don't seem to be many more practical uses for a flame trooper than what's been reported. Hopefully, the upcoming third trailer (which will debut this fall) sheds some more light on the Jakku situation and fleshes it out further.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18, 2015, followed by Star Wars: Rogue One on December 16, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX does not have an official release date yet.