Here’s a Tweet from the other day (or you may have seen it on Facebook or Instagram, too):
Over the weekend, we were out shopping for some groceries, and we found these oranges with BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the label. So we got them, not because of Star Wars, but because we needed oranges.
First off, why are there Star Wars oranges? They never do eat oranges in any of the Star Wars movies, at least not that I can recall. If anyone knows of a time, please correct me here. Maybe the tie-in comes from the fact that they are round and orange, much like BB-8, even though he is not solid orange and he has that head-thing on top of his round part. Still, an orange can roll across the floor much like BB-8 does. Or maybe there was some scene written for, and then cut from, the new movie where the Stormtroopers went in and threw oranges at everyone, just to show how much more evil the First Order is than the Empire ever was. No wait, to do that they would have to throw something like broccoli or asparagus, because that would really be bad. Some people actually do like oranges, after all. Or maybe the tie-in comes from the fact that they are slapping the Star Wars name or images on just about anything these days.
Back before Christmas, we saw all sorts of Star Wars-related Christmas items in the stores when we were out. Things like Star Wars wrapping paper, or Star Wars Christmas tree ornaments. But the funniest things were plush figures of Darth Vader and Yoda each wearing Santa hats. Not that I wanted to buy them, but I wish I had gotten a photo of those, because they made me laugh.
But after the laughing was over, I thought about the ridiculousness of it all. After all, the Star Wars movies take place in a different universe where they have no Christmas celebrations. So why would Yoda ever be caught wearing a Santa hat. And even more ridiculous is the ultimate villain Darth Vader in a Santa hat. It’s a level of comedy that is nowhere to be found in the movies. Yes, there was the celebration of Life Day in the Star Wars Holiday Special, but even that didn’t involve Santa hats.
I’ll try to let you down easy, but here it is: They are just using the Star Wars name to make money. There, it’s out in the open now. Because you know it was such a big secret before my big reveal. Sorry to burst your bubble there.
After all, from the very beginning there have been Star Wars action figures, Star Wars books, Star Wars t-shirts, Star Wars lunchboxes, Star Wars records, Star Wars school supplies, Star Wars toilet seats, Star Wars sunglasses, and even Star Wars underwear. And that list continues to grow exponentially each year, even in the years when there wasn’t a new movie released. And that growth blossomed even more with all the frenzy of the new movie. And people apparently buy all that stuff, too. But some of the items seem to make more sense than others do. I can see toys to help you play out the movies or clothes to show off to your friends more than some of the more questionable items that are out there.
Yes, Star Wars is the big thing right now obviously. The recent box office numbers show that, but the reality is that Star Wars was big business even before the last movie was released last month. And everyone wants to make a buck whenever they can. The makers of these products get some recognition when people see the Star Wars name or characters on their packaging. And I’m sure Disney gets some license fees out of it, too. So everyone wins, right?
And yet here I am thinking that this orange tastes nothing like BB-8. Not that I have licked him or anything.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” - Mark 8:36
The Expanded Tweets posts expand on a short post on Twitter (or, a tweet), because 140 characters isn’t always enough to tell the whole story.