There’s been an overflow of hype and anticipation building up to the release of The Last Jedi, the second installment in the latest Star Wars trilogy. Of course, no big budget action film can come out without a glut of product tie-ins, and Rian Johnson’s latest film is no exception.
While these marketing efforts are usually pretty innocuous, Dole’s recent “Unite for a Healthy Galaxy” campaign is even more bizarre than the fact that every Star Wars character intuitively understands what R2-D2’s beeps and bloops mean. That’s right: the multinational produce purveyor is slapping some Star Wars branding onto its products as a sort of jedi mind trick to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. In a press release Dole says they’ve slapped images of characters from the upcoming films onto “more than 3 billion servings of fresh produce.”
Needless to say, many Star Wars fans were puzzled by the licensing move:
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Can droids even eat vegetables?
At least BB-8 kind of looks like a head of iceberg lettuce?
Even John Jackson Miller, who’s made a living writing Star Wars comic books and novels, thought the campaign jumped the shark:
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If you’re worried about the incongruity of Dole putting ads on produce that may not even exist in the Star Wars universe, fret not. Dole and Lucasfilm also put together “12 original fruit and vegetable recipes inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi characters, droids and vehicles as well as icons from the classic saga.” One such example is “Tatooine Blue Milk”, a sort of homage to the beverage that Luke Skywalker’s aunt and uncle drank in like one scene at the beginning of A New Hope. Apparently it tastes like a banana smoothie, but mainly it reiterates the fact that you don’t really see people eating that often in Star Wars movies if you think about it.
And while a bag of salad mix probably isn’t destined to become a collector’s item the same way that some late-70’s/early-80’s Star Wars paraphernalia once was, at least you can enter to win prizes after buying a Porg-themed banana. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is in theaters now, so grab that bag of salad mix and head on down to your local theater to enjoy an officially-branded snack that your seatmates will find deeply unnerving. Dole’s promotion will eventually expire, as all produce inevitably does.