The most awkward product tie-ins in Star Wars history

A long time ago in an office building somewhere in Los Angeles, George Lucas turned a major motion picture into merchandising empire. His cross-pollinated success with Star Wars certainly doesn't have a lock on product tie-ins, but they might have a leg-up in the tacky tie-ins and oddball officially licensed products department. Take a look at these monstrosities:

C3PO tape dispenser

During the early days of Star Wars product tie-ins, virtually nothing was off-limits to Lucasfilm's licensees, such as this, erm, suggestive tape dispenser.

After all, what worker wouldn't be enthralled with C3PO sprawled out on the corner of their desk, either looking shocked or pleased as he waits for someone to pull another piece of tape from between his legs? The ickiest part is, Return of the Jedi clearly established robot feels, when the sadistic droid EV-9D9 orders the needless torment of a Gonk droid in Jabba's Palace. In light of these facts, C3PO's almost gleeful look implies that he's enjoying his scotch tape side-job a little too much. Even if robots were incapable of physical sensations, this tape dispenser would still seem pretty unsafe for anywhere.

Inflatable tauntaun costume

Blow-up novelty costumes are all the rage these days, with popular favorites like the giant tampon, the giant douche, and naturally the giant, uncreative, unfunny, drunken Halloween reveler (patent pending). Since Star Wars and Halloween go together like vampires and blood banks, it's no surprise that Rubie's Costumes decided to get into the act with an inflatable Tauntaun get-up.

There are, however, some downsides to the pump-up Hoth dweller. First of all, since it's inflatable, the wearer can't cut it open and sleep inside when Echo Base is just too dang far away. Secondly, because it's made of plastic, it undoubtedly smells just as bad on the inside as the outside. To top it all off, the "unisex" costume has a distinctly phallic bent to it, as the Tauntaun's head begins at the wearer's groin and extends into a bulbous head. While the manufacturers probably didn't design it as intentionally lewd, this inflatable outfit definitely qualifies as an "adult" costume.

Jar Jar Binks lollipop

Sometimes a giant candy tongue is just a giant candy tongue. Other times, in the case of the Jar Jar Binks Monster Mouth by Cap Candy, it's a final way to give audiences unable to handle Phantom Menace's greatest disgrace the raspberry. At the same time, this simple candy tongue could signify something much more sinister.

Before the Force awakened, Reddit user Lumpawarroo posited a fascinating (if overall implausible) theory, suggesting that Jar Jar Binks was secretly a Sith Lord. From beneath his bumbling veneer, Darth Binks ostensibly pulled a Keyser Soze on the galaxy, manipulating the rise of the Empire from behind the scenes. He is, after all, responsible for giving Supreme Chancellor Palpatine the emergency powers that enabled him to become Emperor, at least until Darth Vader dropped him down a conveniently placed bottomless shaft.

So then, is the Jar Jar Lollipop merely an irritating remnant from the galaxy's most irritating character, or is it a straight-up "nyah" from one of the galaxy's greatest Dark Side puppeteers? Something to think about as you happily suck away on Jar-Jar's tongue. Nom nom.

Revenge of the Sith air sickness bags

Between the bumbling antics of Jar Jar Binks, the wooden romance of Padme and Anakin Skywalker, the slippery-when-wet CGI landscapes, and the plot momentum-killing pod racing scene, the backstory of George Lucas' classic saga curdled the stomachs of many a hardcore Star Wars fan. In honor of the underwhelming sequel, airline spinoff Virgin Atlantic took the intestinal distress of the Prequel Trilogy to heart.

Rarely do many product tie-ins double as film criticism, but as a lead-up to the (anti)climactic Episode III, Virgin Atlantic airlines felt the need to stock up on air sickness bags emblazoned with Revenge of the Sith logos. Perhaps they already had a problem with passengers losing their lunch whenever they aired Attack of the Clones or The Phantom Menace as an in-flight movie, or maybe the airline was simply readying their officially-licensed barf bags for the next time Force fanatics heard someone call Darth Vader, the cold, unfeeling, super-evil galactic menace he was, "Ani."

C-3PO Raps

Disneyland's 1987 "Star Tours" ride tried to capture the magic of the movies by stuffing a gaggle of tourists into a glorified capsule and shaking them around for 15 minutes, all while rear-projection screens display dizzying stock footage footage from a galaxy far, far away. Your host for the evening? A bitter, rapping, Anthony Daniels.

Daniels, in his C-3PO garb, starts this hip-hop abomination by waxing sarcastic about his mortal frenemy, R2D2. Then, an oh-so-'80s backbeat — possibly sampled from Baby's First Casio — kicks in. During this excruciating minute-and-a-quarter, Threepio spits an awkward game, rapping about space facts, as well as BS space myths like how you can "eat all you want and you won't gain a pound / because there isn't any weight here like back on the ground." He also explains that R2-D2 can't rap because he has no "lips to flap." Thank goodness for that.

After failing to ape the Robot (which is sad for actual robots), the awful ordeal ends with cheap video effects, tailor-made to give epileptic viewers a seizure. We're shocked he only had a red arm in The Force Awakens. After this video, we thought his whole face would be red too.

Revenge of the Sith toilet paper

As if the aforementioned air sickness bag wasn't enough, a European household product manufacturer came up with an inspired way to celebrate the finale to the lackluster Prequel Trilogy. Toilet paper. This means every time an Earth-bound Jedi Knight had their own Revenge of the Sith — whether inspired by old takeout or a trip to the local food trailer — they could take the Force into the can and use a roll of Episode III to bring balance to their own dark sides.

In addition to their Sith bathroom tissue, Zewa also put together a whole lineup of Episode III paper products, including facial tissues and paper towels. Naturally, the towels are perfect for cleaning up after a day at the beach, when the kids track in all that "coarse and rough and irritating" sand that manages to get everywhere.

Han Solo Pop Tart pop-art

Once thought of as a sugary day-starter and nothing more, Pop Tarts aren't just for breakfast anymore. Like an Andy Warhol postcard for the sci-fi set, super fan toymakers Falcon Toys dreamt up this toaster travesty, which combines breakfast pastries with classic Star Wars iconography: the Han Solo Pop-Art Pop-Tart.

It seems that capturing Han Solo in all his agonized glory — ripped away from his loved ones and looking death in the steely peepers — was be the perfect wall decoration. And if mounting suspended animation-Han in the dining room doesn't help people get in touch with their inner-Jabba the Hutt, there's also another disturbing aspect to the Pop-Arts. Although technically inedible (it's just a toy, not a real breakfast item), the concept of a delightfully frosted, flash-frozen Han Solo just feels a bit … cannibalistic.

Yoda Magic 8-Ball

Among the first toy companies to leap on the Star Wars merchandising bandwagon, Kenner released the legendary first run of Star Wars action figures — including everyone's favorite nonexistent Cantina patron, Snaggletooth. As the the films churned out more and more popular characters, the toymaker tried to spin just about any concept into Star Wars gold, with limited success, including a Dagobah-based take on the Magic 8-ball toy.

After the release of The Empire Strikes Back, wise and froggy Jedi Master Yoda became a breakout character. Turning the prescient hermit into a wisdom-dispensing toy probably seemed like a no-brainer at the time. The trouble was in the execution. In order to uncover the answer to burning early '80s questions like, "will Luke and Leia finally hook up in Revenge of the Jedi," or "will video really kill the radio star," young fans had to shake Yoda, flip him upside-down, and gaze up his Jedi toga for their generic, difficult to read answer. Of course, what 8-Ball Yoda was really thinking was akin to, "Rude, you are, hmm. Violated I feel, yes."

The Empire Jazz album

One look at the cover of Empire Jazz tells us everything we need to know: Darth Vader, the obsidian-masked menace responsible for slaughtering hundreds of Jedi, is seated front and center at some intergalactic Copacabana. Star Wars certainly would be a different movie if, every time the galaxy's most ruthless Sith Lord entered a room, the ominous horns of "Imperial March" were replaced with lilting saxophones and melodic marimbas. As catchy as it may be, Empire Jazz doesn't exactly do any favors for the shadowy Dark-sider's image.

Of course, the galaxy is filled with all sorts of Jizz-wailers and Max Rebo Bands. Nevertheless, it's surprising that Ron Carter, a Grammy Award-winning bassist that played alongside Miles Davis, would find a niche in the Star Wars knock-off department. While his toe-tapping covers of "Yoda's Theme" and "Lando's Palace," suggest the raw talent of the musicians who played on Empire Jazz, the album still smells like a cash-grab. Whether you're the scourge of the galaxy or a former smuggler navigating a maze of shifting interstellar rocks, easy listening feels … wrong as a sonic backdrop. Hell, the loungy strains of "The Asteroid Field" might just lull your senses into submission, increasing those unrequested odds of survival tenfold.

Kinect Star Wars' "I'm Han Solo"

The name "Han Solo" conjures up images of a hard-luck rebel with a crooked grin and a blaster-first, questions-later attitude. Someone who cruises the galaxy in a ship held together by hydrospanners and Wookiee spit is the last person most people would picture as a saccharine pop star. However, when LucasArts and Microsoft developed a Star Wars game for the Kinect in 2012, they chose to include a Dance Dance Revolution knock-off, one which takes the scruffy-looking nerf herder in a completely new, unpleasant direction.

The game re-imagines Han as an auto-tuned one-hit wonder, remixing the Jason Derulo electro-R&B tune, "Ridin' Solo," into (*shudder*) "I'm Han Solo." The rebel general then proceeds to prance around the carbon-freezing chamber like a CGI Backstreet Boy, while DJ Lobot provides the backbeat. If that wasn't awful enough, during an interlude, a clearly embarrassed Lando Calrissian pops and locks his way across the future site of Han's near-death experience.

If Han Solo was aware of his pop-star transformation, there's no doubt he would have shot his CG-self first.

"Living in These Star Warz" by Dan Whitley and the Rebel Force Band

Circa 1977, just about everyone seemed to be scheming up a way to cash in on the pop cultural cache of Star Wars. Before the dawn of Empire Jazz, Dan Whitley and his Rebel Force Band kicked off their own unlicensed album, with a synthed-out riff on the main theme song ("Living In These Star Warz"). It's sort of like Bill Murray's lounge version of Star Wars, except not clever or amusing. At all.

Ranging from power ballads to power pop to white-boy disco funk, the Rebel Force Band churn out a sequence of loosely related and misspelled tracks ("Chewie the Rookie Wookie") that riff on everything from Darth Vader's breathing problems ("Respirator for Darth Vader") to loving an android ("Don't Fall in Love with an Android"), which sounds like a personal problem.

The Rebel Force Band isn't necessarily bad at what they do, merely bland. Of course, now that vinyl nerds have stumbled across the obscure album, Living in these Star Warz is liable to become one of those hipster "I liked the Rebel Force Band before they were hot on eBay" things.

Star Wars Crocs

Aside from making movies, Lucasfilm is in the business of doing business. So it's understandable that anyone willing to give them money to exploit the Star Wars name is all fine and good in their ledgers department. In that regard, it's not so much that Star Wars-themed Crocs are incomprehensible — it's moreso the nature of the shoes as cumbersome that makes them a peculiar footwear choice for the high-energy saga.

For instance, imagine the fearsome Sith warrior, Darth Maul, deciding not to wear his Jedi-stomping boots before moseying to Naboo to reveal the Sith to the Jedi (which sounds like an indecent exposure charge in the first place). Instead, he slips on a pair of Darth Vader Crocs. Were that the case, his defeat at the hands of a (admittedly talented) padawan wouldn't come as such a shock. Though it would be a shock that he'd be wearing the shoes of a character that doesn't exist yet, but hey — maybe the Dark Side has mastered time travel. We don't know. The Force is mysterious that way.

Need another example? What if Jyn Erso chose to forgo her stylin' rebel kicks for something a little more comfortable, prior to her Scariff mission. She probably would've been able to clamber up the vertiginous ladder inside the Citadel Tower of the Imperial security complex wearing the foam-rubber clods. But imagine her shuffling out to her final showdown with Director Krennic wearing a pair of fuzzy, bandolier-soled R2-D2 Crocs.

Talk about a Force farce.

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