Too many ‘Star Wars’ tie-ins? Never!

Brooklyn, 1984. My cousins Craig and Phillip hover around a pile of Star Wars action figures like convicts around a square meal. Craig’s favorite is intergalactic bounty hunter Boba Fett. Having only seen bits and pieces of the first two films—oh, and having two X chromosomes—I’m not terribly interested in making whooshing noises as plastic TIE Fighters bear down on Luke and Han. For me, the drama starts when my cousin’s dog creeps in unnoticed and sweeps up Boba, retreating to a corner while Craig shrieks and wails, until my Uncle Eddie pries the figure from Fido’s jaws. In the pantheon of Craig’s boyhood tragedies, Boba’s Disfigurement ranks high and, I’m guessing, might still reduce my now-6-foot-6 cousin to tears. Consider that when you read the article in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that asks if too many tie-ins to Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith have diluted the marketers’ messages. Sure, Yoda may be in spots for two different products. Sure, Darth Vader/M&Ms will never be as memorable as ET/Reese’s Pieces. But as a woman who is married to another man who considers Star Wars to be a seminal event in his childhood, I understand the force that holds sway over these guys. (The TIE in TI Fighter, by the way, stands for Twin Ion Engine. “Everyone knows that,” my husband says.) When any one of these ads comes on—Chewy recording a ringtone, Yoda levitating a Diet Pepsi—I am shushed, the TV volume is raised, and my husband stands gape-mouthed before the tube. Several times he has rewound the DVR to watch an ad he would otherwise have skipped. Show me another series of ads that do that. I’d say the messages are being transmitted uninterrupted.

—Posted by Deanna Zammit