A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the battle was raging hard between the Jedi order and the Dark Side. The Jedi masters were outnumbered and outgunned. But just when all seemed lost, Yoda had a flash of brilliance. “Win this battle, we will,” he said as he drew up a detailed plan that would turn the tide of the war. He then ordered the masters to gather around to discuss it. Alas, just then, a strong gust of wind blew away the paper on which Yoda had drawn out the plan. The battle was soon lost. Yoda was last heard murmuring, “Oh dear! If only made photocopies of the plan I had, using the official Star Wars photocopy paper.”
While this battle is a figment of our imagination, the Star Wars photocopy paper does exist and claims to be perfect for everyday printing and copying while bringing a little excitement to the office. “Be the hero of your office galaxy,” adds manufacturer Quill, while noting that the lid of the box in which this paper comes can be used as wall art.
The photocopy paper is a fine example of the strange — and sometimes absurd — merchandise that a successful movie franchise churns out. Especially one as popular as Star Wars. As CinemaBlend observes, the movie theatre isn’t the only place that the franchise owns the competition. Where Star Wars really owns pop culture is in the merchandising. “With every new film, we know there will be a lot of new toys and other licensed products to go along with it.” And as TMZ reported in June, Lucasfilm had filed docs in Europe to secure rights to make and sell all Death Troopers-related gear — clothing, footwear, toys, games, birthday party paper hats… even Christmas tree stands. “Nothing says happy holidays like a DEATH Trooper under your tree!”.
So don’t be surprised if the latest Star Wars flick, Rogue One, overwhelms you not only with on-screen action but also its off-screen merchandise. On Desertcart.ae, for example, we see about 50 products, ranging from the Dh144 Rogue One novel to the Dh328 Rogue One Micro Machines Death Star Playset, with claims to be a movie-accurate reproduction of the Death Star and includes three exclusive micro figures and two micro vehicles. Casting our net wider and looking at what is available around the world, we come across Redbubble, which throws up an impressive 206 matches just for Star Wars Rogue One T-shirts.
Elsewhere, on Argos, we see action figures including the Seargent Jyn Erso 20-inch figure, along with a “galaxy of starships and vehicles“. And plastic guns, including the bright orange Rogue One Nerf Captain Cassian Andor Blaster that fires glow-in-the-dark darts and lets kids “imagine charging into battle like Captain Cassian Andor”. Or you can settle for the less-orangy Imperial Death Trooper Deluxe Blaster, which lets you pretend to be an elite soldier of the Imperial Intelligence. On the robo front, you can put down your hard-earned cash for the Star Wars BB-8 remote-controlled droid. It’s voice-activated and you can talk to it. Or rather, him. Apparently, he is smart enough to express moods ranging from happy and excited to sad and scared. Besides, he can utter more than 20 droid-speak phrases.
Retail behemoth Walmart too has got a special store up for Star Wars Rogue One — action figurines, helmets, fighter planes, lego sets… if you can imagine it, chances are Walmart has already got it! Similarly, Toys R Us has got a laundry list of toys, ranging lightsabers to voice-changer masks and helmets, such as the Darth Vader Voice Changer Helmet — “with a push of a button, this voice-changing helmet features movie-real sounds and breathing as iconic as it is menacing”. Even Disney Parks is on the game with items created specially for them. Apart from shirts and t-shirts, there are hooded sweatshirts, a sleeveless zip fleece and pins. Lots of pins. As the page notes, “Guests who enjoy collecting pins will find a variety of open edition pins with images of characters, ships, or graphics from the film. There will also be a limited release, 14-pin mystery collection. Each box will contain two pins – one of seven revealed pins that guests can see, and one of seven mystery pins.” Interestingly, Disney Parks guests can also create and personalise phone cases for select iPhone and Samsung devices with 15 styles.
If all this is too much to take in, an excellent place to keep track of Star Wars merchandise, including reviews and videos, is the Merchandise section of Starwars.com. But it doesn’t stop there — die-hard fans can also download recipes for Princess Leia Gingerbread cookies, Wookie cookies, pumpkin-spiced Millennium Falcon ice-cream dessert and dozens of other Star Wars themed food items. And if you decide to cook up a Star Wars storm in your kitchen, as Yoda might say, “Invite us for the feast, you must!”