Duh. Of course Star Wars had a cereal. How the Hell else would people figure out it was popular? Through some miracle, C-3P0's special breakfast didn't taste that bad. I say it's a 'miracle' because, if you've tasted most cereals based off the latest hot movies, you'd know full well that the ingredient list often includes things like polymonounsaturated hyperglycerinoils and bat shit. Because of the rush to get these boxes on the market before the film loses it's mass appeal, the companies usually overlook all the test marketing and taste surveys that are typically part of the process.
In some cases, they just take an already-established formula and add a few marshmallows vaguely shaped like one of the movie character's heads. In other cases, they just slap whatever surplus byproducts available with some cornmeal and hope for the best. I'm not sure what went into the creation of C-3P0s, but I remember enjoying it and eating it at a rate so intense, I'm shocked I didn't cause one of my arteries to grow a mouth so it could yell at me for torturing it.
It didn't last long on the shelves, so I suppose even the most devout Star Wars fanatics weren't quite ready to give up their Cocoa Puffs. That Sonny was way too engaging. To Kelloggs' credit, C-3P0 was probably the best spokesperson for a Star Wars-themed breakfast. You can't throw Luke on the box - everyone would start thinking about his missing hand and the gooey bloody wrist, causing massive losses of appetite and poor sales. Same with Vader. Chewbacca wouldn't work either, since no one wants to think about the piss stains all over his fur while they're eating. Especially since the cereal tints milk a slight yellow hue. No, 3P0 was the chief candidate. He could convince people that they were hungry in six million languages.
Beat that, Chewy.
The advertisements were great - they used totally new footage, not stock from the films with Anthony Daniels dubbing breakfasty lines over scenes where you knew he was really talking about vaporators. Lucas lucked out by filling his films with so many relative nobodies; they came cheap when it was time to start the merchandising blitz. You get people in the theaters with Harrison, and people eating cereal with Silly Tony Daniels. It's the best of both worlds. Besides, it's not like Daniels would pass up on a job offer that didn't involve signing his name over and over again at the local bingo hall's comic convention.
Here we see 3P0 and R2 running like heck on the starchy terrain of Tatooine, dodging laser bolts from Imperial ships. But the Empire isn't after them for information on the Rebels' secret base, not this time. No, Emperor Palpatine is just really fucking hungry. And unlike Jabba, he refuses to satiate himself with brandy-soaked frogs. The Emperor wants that cereal!
Palpatine: Did you get the cereal?
Darth Vader: Yes, master.
Palpatine: Did you get the milk?
Darth Vader: Yes.
Palpatine: We have spoons onboard?
Darth Vader: We do, my master.
Palpatine: Did you remember to fetch my favorite bowl from Byss? The one shaped like one of Bigfoot's tires I got at that truck rally last year?
Darth Vader: I remembered, my lord.
Palpatine: Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
The Droids manage to deliver the cereal safely to their transport, and once they're in space, 3P0 has a chance to explain their inherit goodness and great taste. R2 agrees. Pfft, like either of these guys know what it tastes like. Come on, we're not stupid. Robots don't eat. Even if they did, it'd be stuff like sparkplugs and Nintendo controllers. Not cereal. The fools ain't speaking from experience. Damn shills. On the plus side, 3P0 has cool looking cereal bowls. Man, first Sweden, then Newark - now Ikea's set up camp on Bespin. That company really knows how to expand.
So, what are C-3P0s? Hard to tell. The commercial voice-over explains that they're two loops intertwined, but that's way too literal and doesn't exactly tell us what they're supposed to represent. I always assumed they were Droid gears, but now that I have a closer look, they could be pool rafts. I guess it was just up to the particular eater to decide what they were. It was a neat little game, because if you couldn't come up with an answer, you'd just vent your frustrations by swallowing the pieces.
Obviously, only a small percentage of you out there ever ate C-3P0s. If you're curious, they shared a similar consistency and taste as Honeycomb. The only difference was that Honeycomb helped you create wheels for cars-made-of-cereal a lot more successfully than C-3P0s did. Conversely, you can't use Honeycomb pieces as really cheap fingercuffs. The jury is split. Honeycomb's still around, so I guess they won the war overall. I wonder if they talk about things like this in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Evazan: I have the death sentence...on twelve systems!
Lak Sirvak: Yeah? Well, I make cars out of pieces of cereal.
Evazan: Really? Cereal pieces are pretty fragile, you know.
Lak Sirvak: I'll be careful then.
Evazan: YOU'LL BE DEAD!
Kids love 'em....
And aliens love 'em, too! Yay!
Believe it or not, a few collectors actually saved sealed boxes of this junk, and they're still bought, sold, and traded today. I'm not sure I could resist ripping open the box and eating it if I ever found one, even if the cereal is almost twenty years old. Maybe it ages well, like wine or cheese, or Morgan Fairchild.
Hey, why does that guy have an ass on his head? Shitface.
There's a lot of strange Star Wars junk out there, but C-3P0s cereal was always one of my personal favorites. What can I say, I like food. Of course, the merits of having a Droid on the box art wasn't enough to make the hard sell in of itself. No, both General Kellogg and General George agreed that the best way to really make the big bucks was to include special offers for free toys when you bought the cereal. Some of them were included in the box, others were sent after you collected 55,000 proofs-of-purchase stickers and learned what in God's name a 'S.A.S.E' stood for. As far as I know, there were only three offers available in the United States. Canada and overseas nations got some other stuff, but since they weren't available to me personally, I just don't care about 'em.
Here they are:
One of the mailaway offers let you get four free 'micro-figures', the ones normally packaged with Kenner's 'Microworld' playsets. Back then, the figures were made of real lead, before people knew that it was a cold hearted killer. Since the Micro Collection didn't fare too well in stores, Kenner had about seventy-million little figures leftover. They were nowhere near as fun as the standard toys, but as far as cereal prizes go, you won't find many offers cooler than this. Well, unless you were one of the people who got a Cap'n Crunch spinning globe. Those things rocked.
I don't really remember how they worked, but up above are 'Star Wars Rockets' - plastic missiles with cardboard character attachments. They didn't fly and they didn't look much like rockets, but they were still a lot more fun than finding '50 cents off your next box!' coupons inside.
Finally, the last batch of C-3P0s included weird trading cards/sticker hybrids featuring a multitude of characters from the movies. Exciting stuff, no? After you peeled the sticker off, the standard card was left underneath. Now you could stick Wickett's face on windows and in photo albums for one price. Such are the benefits of being Force-sensitive. I hate myself and I want to die.
C-3P0 came, saw, and conquered the breakfast table. When Episode II came out, they started marketing new Star Wars-themed cereals, but holy sweet Jesus did they ever taste terrible. I guess that sort of fits in with the general opinion of the prequels, though. So it all makes sense. I still think about C-3P0s from time to time, mostly when I'm hungry. I miss them terribly. I'd hold out hope and say they might return someday, but let's face it, there's a better chance of Episode III meeting critical acclaim. Oh well. They tasted good while they lasted.
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