10 Ways Star Wars: Episode I Was Literally Shoved Down Your Throat

By Adam Pawlus in Daily Lists, Merchandise, Movies
Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 8:01 am

5) Do as She Promotes, Not as She Eats


We understand how important it is to market a movie, regardless of what that means for the personal beliefs of those involved. For example, Natalie Portman wasn't exactly a big meat eater -- interviews generally presented Ms. Portman as being fairly outspoken regarding her meat-free existence. So what does Colonel Sanders do? Slaps a big ol' sticky Queen Amidala on the window of every Kentucky Fried Chicken in the world. Sure, she was great in The Professional, but her true calling was to be painted up like a clown and presented as the poster face for the most meat-centric of the three restaurants during this time.

4) Film + Candy = Fun!


Figuring out how to make fun Star Wars food products has always been a challenge, which is why there is Jabba the Hutt peach yogurt. (Look it up.) OddzOn, one of the companies Hasbro gobbled up in the 1990s, made this film canister thing. The candy wasn't reported as the best, and the packaging looks more like an explosive than a treat-- a point in its favor. Really nice plastic packaging that you may want to keep was starting to come into fashion around this time, although Bionicle probably should be credited for actually making it work. Did anyone buy these silvery canisters with a character staring at them from the top? Nope. That's why you don't see them next to the M&Ms today. But let's not dwell on that, because as a group Star Wars collectors should still be bitter about not getting busts with their cereal.

3) Corporate Synergy: The Phantom Mascot


Rather than have the Neimoidians come on screen and talk about what a bargain two tacos for two dollars may be, the Pepsi eateries decided to have their three big mascots-- well, arguably big mascots, only one still persists today-- all in an ad together. There were a few spots, but this pretty much says it all.

So yeah, you get some random girl, a dog, and an old Southern dude with a lightsaber for some reason. I guess they're fighting hunger, or coherent narratives. This seemed an attempt to solidify a "Pizza Hut Girl" as their mascot, although Ash Ketchum from Pokemon was confused as to why he appeared with boobs in this ad. (Admit it, they look alike.) At least Colonel Sanders looks like he could have been in some weird sci-fi movie.

As an added bonus, those "game medallions" were basically just POGs about five years past their prime. But nothing about Star Wars and POG-like products has ever been timely.

2) Buckets o' Fun


How does a flying bucket topper grab you? If the answer is "in a very inappropriate place" you would be correct. Kentucky Fried Chicken had two flavors of this: Jar Jar Binks, the most annoying character from The Phantom Menace, and the Battle Droids, considered by some to be the most annoying part of Revenge of the Sith. These "bucket toppers" were awkward slabs of rubber that came to you in a plastic baggie, so at no point in this product's lifespan would it actually top your bucket of chicken. Heck, even if it did, odds are freshly manufactured petroleum products aren't quite the best thing to have capping your dinner, but at least they could fly, right? No? Not really? Hunh. Well at least they looked like fancy painted manhole covers? We have that, and you can't take it away from us.

1) Jar Jar Binks Mega Mouth Candy


Sadly YouTube did not exist in 1999, because if it did you'd see a million videos mocking CapToys' Jar Jar Mega Mouth Candy. What is it? Contempt toward fans given physical form. It's Jar Jar's head, and his tongue comes out, and you suck on it. Say what you will about stereotypes or accents or ethnicities in The Phantom Menace, but is there anything more insulting than the notion that someone got paid to develop a product to make you want Jar Jar's tongue in your mouth? Even more offensive, it didn't have a sticker reading "FUCK YOU" right on the wrapper. There is a law in the USA to properly label food, after all.

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