March 1, 2014 – While browsing the aisles at the Home Depot store last night, I unexpectedly discovered these Star Wars-inspired keys. Since I needed duplicates for the new condo, the keymaster made me this set (front side shows C-3PO and R2-D2, and the reverse side shows the back of them gliding away):
Pretty cool, I thought, for a useful item that cost only $3.98.
But then something Mel Brooks said in Spaceballs (1987), a movie parodying Star Wars, rang in my head: “Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made!” This was, of course, an allusion to – and a slight jab at – George Lucas and his brilliant decision early on to reserve rights to all merchandise created off of his Star Wars franchise.
Keys are one thing; but what about all the other questionnable merchandise? Who buys this stuff anyway? For example, how about this kinda obscene or ludicrous-looking C-3PO tape dispenser:
Or how about some burnt toast, anyone?
There are other innumerable examples of taste-challenged merchandise trying to ride on Darth Vader’s coattails (or should I say, cape). And this has been going on for decades and will no doubt continue as the Star Wars sequels roll out, starting in December 2015 and for many years after. The following underoos commercial, from the early 1980’s, is yet another example:
While the underoos commercial is pretty comical, guess who has the final laugh all the way to the bank? Uncle George….