MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 18: A Walmart sign is seen on August 18, 2015 in Miami, Florida. Walmart announced today that earnings fell in the second quarter due to currency fluctuations and the retailer's investment in employee wages and training. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Photo : Joe Raedle / Staff)
Walmart in Council Bluffs, IA, prematurely sold a toy of the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" female character Rey holding a lightsaber in the famous "resistance outfit." It obviously spoiled an important plot point from the upcoming movie.
This could only mean that Rey is or will become a Jedi. Lucasfilm and Disney pursued legal action against everyone who had been posting photos of the toy online. The suit was made by virtue of the Digital Millennium Copyright ACT or DCMA that demands all photos subject of the suit be removed in the Internet.
The whole fiasco started when a staff from Star Wars Action News bought the controversial toy from Walmart for $6.94 plus tax on Tuesday, Ars Technica reported. On Wednesday, the staff posted pictures of the Rey toy on the Star Wars Action News Facebook page. Marjorie Carvalho, one of the owners of the website, then received a notice from Facebook that the photo violated copyright. They immediately took it down. "Those photos have gone viral-they're out there. And we will not be posting them again as we consider Hasbro a valuable partner in our coverage of Star Wars toys," Carvalho told Ars Technica in a related report.
While Carvalho respectfully obliged to take down the photo, Jeremy Conrad, another Star Wars enthusiast, was furious. He also received DCMA notices on his Twitter, Facebook and even Google Plus after posting a photo of the same toy he bought from Walmart. He said he removed the image not because he respect Disney's copyrights claim but because he "can't afford to be sued by a toy company who likes to Bully Star Wars Fans." Business Insider shared that he believed that those who bought the toys and posted photos of it are not violating any law. "It's not unreleased if you can walk into Walmart and buy the damn toy! This wasn't a figure that was stolen off the back of a truck or stolen out from behind closed doors at Hasbro. It was legally purchased in a store by a fan and they posted a picture of their purchase on the internet," Conrad wrote on his personal website.
Fortune concluded that Walmart was the one responsible for the whole commotion. Based on the stories of both Carvalho and Conrad, the website deduced that Walmart had actually mistakenly sold the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Rey toy. A spokesperson for Walmart's "Star Wars" products have yet to respond why the toy was prematurely rolled out, Fortune reported.
"Star Wars: Force Awakens" hit theaters on Dec. 18. The synopsis from Lucasfilm said the film is set 30 years after the events of "return of the Jedi." It features a new generation of swashbuckling heroes and shadowy villains, as well as the return of fan-favorite smugglers, princesses and Jedi. It will be followed by "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" on Dec. 16, 2016. "Star Wars: Episode VIII" follows on May 26, 2017 and the "Han Solo" anthology movie on May 25, 2018. Lucasfilm has yet to confirm release dates for the "Star Wars: Episode IX" and for the third anthology movie.