The George Lucas Diet
I'm eating up the Star Wars hype!
By Jeremy Selwyn
Chief Snacks Officer
With the upcoming release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, you've probably noticed quite a lot of Star Wars stuff filling store shelves.
As I was preparing a box of Star Wars Mac & Cheese for lunch last week, I recalled that just the night before I'd eaten quite a few packets of Star Wars Popping Candy, and a day earlier had munched on Star Wars Cheez-Its to do a review of them. So it occurred to me: I'm living the George Lucas Diet!
I decided that I should keep this going for as many days as I can, or until December 18 when the movie premieres. The rules are fairly simple: I have to eat at least one branded Star Wars food each day. It's not an all-Star Wars diet — I will be eating other foods as usual — but the Star Wars item must be different each day, no repeats. So I'll be doing a lot of shopping to find as many licensed Star Wars foods as I can.
I'll be revising this page with my daily update for as long as I can keep The George Lucas Diet going.
Last Updated: 12.25.2015 to add Day 48, cherry candy cane
Day 1: Cheez-Its
It all started when I ate the Cheez-Its (with Yoda on one side of the box and Darth Vader on the reverse) and wrote this review. The excitement here was that they really were Star Wars Cheez-Its, featuring six different designs, not just regular Cheez-Its in a Star Wars box.
Day 2: Popping Candy
I found this Pop Rocks knockoff at Family Dollar and couldn't resist buying it. At 2 bucks for 33 packets, it was quite a value. I planned to eat three packs to do this review of all three flavors, but it was so much fun that I ended up eating probably eight or nine packets.
Day 3: Kraft Mac & Cheese
Now we've reached the meal that inspired this whole project. I've seen boxes with a variety of designs in many different stores, but they all appear to have the same assortment of shapes: X-wing fighter, R2-D2, Darth Vader mask, standing Yoda and C-3PO head. The shapes looked pretty good, except for C-3PO, which I initially didn't even realize was supposed to be C-3PO — it looked a lot more like a Jason mask from Friday the 13th.
After boiling the pasta in water, draining and adding milk, butter and fluorescent orange cheese powder, I ate it with crispy chicken wings from the chicken wings bar at my local supermarket.
Sorry, no review to link to for this one, for reasons explained in Taquitos.net's FAQ, but here's a brief summary of the food: It had been a while since I cooked Mac & Cheese of the comes-with-bright-orange-powder variety (having had many restaurant meals and some of the Velveeta comes-with-packet-of-cheese-sauce plus a hot peppers packet version since then) and I've gotta say, this was not particularly good mac & cheese.
Day 4: Fruit Gummies
This one, which I discovered on a big Star Wars display at Family Dollar, featured six different Star Wars shapes: Yoda, C-3PO, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader, an imperial stormtrooper and R2-D2. I've been reviewing a lot of gummy candies lately, and many of them (including this) follow a similar formula that tastes pretty good, with a not-too-sweet fruit juice flavor. See the full review.
Day 5: Star Wars Cereal
Are you getting skeptical that there's such a thing as Star Wars-branded real food? How about a breakfast cereal from General Mills? Come to think of it, this one might not convince you either.
It followed the crunchy-things-plus-marshmallows formula of Lucky Charms, with marshmallows in six shapes: R2-D2, Yoda, a Jedi starfighter, a stormtrooper helmet and two kinds of lightsabers. Four of the six had two-tone color schemes, which was kind of neat, with the white stormtroopers having a dark eye area, the lightsabers having gray handles but blue/red light beams, and R2-D2 being blue on bottom and white on top (but it still looked like a mailbox). The crunchy pieces came in two shapes: Tie Fighters, and something else that I couldn't place, but my best guess is it was supposed to be a Tauntaun from Hoth.
No review to link to on this one, because Taquitos.net does not review cereals, but it was pretty average as sugar cereals go.
To address the obvious questions: 1) Is it legal to eat a General Mills cereal out of a Kellogg's bowl? I really don't know. 2) Am I eating my breakfast on a Tabasco placemat? Yes, yes I am.
Day 6: Campbell's Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
Things are looking up for keeping this diet going for a while. I got a tip yesterday about another cereal seen at Target, so I went and found not only that one, but also five other Star Wars-endorsed foods. Plus, a friend picked up something else in the refrigerated aisle at Wegmans.
I found this soup at Target and decided to have it for lunch today. They had cans with different Star Wars characters on the labels, but all appeared to contain the same soup. It had pasta shaped like Darth Vader's helmet, Yoda's head, a stormtrooper's helmet and R2-D2, in a chicken broth, with bits of chicken and slivers of carrot. It was decent chicken soup — nothing special, but perfectly acceptable, and they were generous in the number of Star Wars pasta pieces (though less so with the chicken meat). None of the pasta designs matched the ones used in the Mac & Cheese, even for the three characters that overlapped. These were less detailed, but they still looked pretty good.
Day 7: Honey Maid
This cookie-like version of Honey Maid graham crackers came in seven different Star Wars shapes, including one character I hadn't seen during the course of this project — yes, on Day 7, Princess Leia finally made an appearance!
The art had a whole different style than any of the previous kinds, as the cookie medium apparently allows much more detail than pasta. But I wasn't super-impressed by the look of most of them. Yoda reminded me of Oscar the Grouch. As for Princess Leia, I could tell it has her by process of elimination, but it wasn't a great depiction. C-3PO was the big fail; this time it reminded me of Edvard Munch's The Scream.
Rather than choosing one character like previous packaging, this box took an all-of-the-above approach. The front included Yoda, Darth Vader, R2-D2 and C-3PO. Chewbacca finally made his first appearance, but he was all alone on the top of the box. (Do you like cookies? See the full review!)
Day 8: Stormtrooper Pez
Today I kept the diet simpler, and for the first time it didn't involved food actually shaped like anything Star Wars, but just standard-shaped food (Pez in this case) from a Star Wars-shaped dispenser. The package came with packs of raspberry, grape and cherry Pez. Filling the dispenser with the candy was messier than I remembered, as it was cumbersome to cleanly unwrap the candy packs and load the dispenser. I ate Pez pieces one at a time out of the dispenser, and the grape tasted better than the raspberry. As of this writing, I hadn't opened the cherry; I don't like cherry, so I will share that with friends.
Also pictured is the awesome cup that I got at the new Dollar Tree store in Somerville (which was previously a Family Dollar and is adjacent to the dance studio that used to be a Brazilian supermarket under several different names, where I bought many snacks over the years). It was just an empty cup, so it can't really be part of The George Lucas Diet, but it was a great value for $1, and one of these days I'm going to drink a beverage from it.
Day 9: Angry Birds Star Wars Gummies
More gummies? Doesn't this violate the rule about no repeats?
Not at all, and for quite a few reasons. These gummies attempted to portray the Angry Birds adaptations of Star Wars characters used in the game, not the original characters. They also did a very poor job of depicting those characters, as the shapes were poorly detailed and only very loosely resembled the line drawings of the Angry Birds characters on the box (and the ones pictured were gathered by sorting through several packets to find the best ones of each type, as some of the shapes were even worse). Oh, they also had a different texture (chewier, less soft and less moist). And didn't taste as much like fruit juice. They were also made by a different company (Healthy Food Brands, rather than General Mills). So this was definitely not a repeat.
Day 10: SpaghettiOs
It's been a while since I've eaten SpaghettiOs, but sometimes you need to escape from your routine to stay on The George Lucas Diet. SpaghettiOs have evidently been sold under the Campbell's band, rather than Franco-American, since 2004, even though Campbell's bought Franco-American way back in 1915 (thank you, Wikipedia).
The pictures on the can showed the same four shapes (Darth Vader, stormtrooper, Yoda, R2-D2) as the chicken pasta soup. But when I opened the can, I was surprised to see lots of conventional round SpaghettiOs at the top. There were indeed four Star Wars shapes in there, but they were mixed in among even more actual Os.
When I ate the small bowl pictured, it tasted quite bland. After that, I mixed in some canned green chilis for a second bowl, and that did improve things. Still, I can't highly recommend SpaghettiOs.
Day 11: Go-Gurt
Today's installment was quite a breakthrough in several ways.
First of all, a personal first. Although I've eaten yogurt many times, this was my first time eating Go-Gurt. (For other novices, Go-Gurt is yogurt that you suck out of a tube.) One of my greatest discoveries of the past year was chocolate pudding that you suck out of a tube (which, unlike Go-Gurt, didn't require refrigeration, and thus the link to a review).
On a more significant Star Wars-related first, this was the first member of The George Lucas Diet to feature characters new to Episode VII, rather than just retreads from the other six movies. It started with the box, showing the droid you've seen in the trailers that somehow moves around on a giant ball bearing, who is apparently named BB-8. The eight tubes inside each featured a different character, including newbies Kylo Ren, Finn, Rey, Captain Phasma and Poe Dameron.
The innovation didn't stop there: The reverse side of each tube had a glow-in-the-dark lightsaber to play with!
And finally, what good are all of these new characters if the movie hasn't been released so you don't know anything about them? Well, they thought of that too. The whole product was tied to an app called Blippar, which scans the character on each tube and shows a short biography and rotatable 3D model of the character's mode of transport.
As for the yogurt in the tubes, there were two flavors among the eight tubes: Strawberry Splash and Berry Blue Blast. I liked the strawberry better, but the blueberry was OK too.
Day 12: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Yes, more General Mills cereal, eaten out of a Kellogg's bowl.
There's good news and bad news. Bad news is the actual cereal was just plain Cinnamon Toast Crunch, no special Star Wars shapes or recipe. Good news is that they made a good effort to include lots of Star Wars stuff with the packaging:
- The front of the box had X-wing fighters with Cinnamon Toast Crunch as the wings. Nice. (But unlike regular hexagonal X-wing wings, these cinnamon-laden ones were rectangles.)
- Back of the box had a combination maze/cryptographic message involving helping BB-8 escape from the junkyard.
- Inside the cereal bag, the first of what will likely be many Episode VII toys: A plastic BB-8 figure with a viewing hole in the bottom to reveal an image of (spoiler alert!) BB-8. Unfortunately, the figure had BB-8's bottom shaped like a pancake rather than a ball, but still, I've got a toy!
Day 13: BB-8 Holiday Lollipop
For a character whose name I didn't even know just a few days back, BB-8 has become quite an important part of my life. Today I got to lick a lollipop (made in China and distributed by an outfit called Galerie in Kentucky) that featured an image of my new favorite droid. It was quite a big lollipop, almost 3 inches in diameter and as much as 3/4 inch thick. It tasted good, but I didn't make much progress in finishing it despite several minutes of concentrated licking.
Day 14: Honey Nut Cheerios
OK, another Star Wars cereal from General Mills. And unfortunately, they're just regular Honey Nut Cheerios with no special shapes. This will be the second-to-last cereal in The George Lucas Diet (unless I find more).
There is some good news: The Honey Nut Cheerios bee mascot is wearing a Darth Vader Helmet and holding his honey stick like a light saber.
Still, some disappointing work in package design here. Remember that maze/secret code from the back of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch box? This box has the identical puzzle on the back. "BB-8 has a secret message for you!" yet again, and it's the exact same message. D'oh.
The box included another Droid Viewer, and this time I got B-U4D, so at least I got another toy and moved one step closer to collecting all six droids.
Day 15: Jelly Belly Star Wars Galaxy Mix
Now on to some fun food: Jelly beans! When I saw "Galaxy Mix," I figured that the creative minds at Jelly Belly/Lucasfilm/Disney had come up with some great flavors based on Star Wars characters, events, places, things, etc. But when I checked the flavor key on the back, none of the flavors had anything to do with Star Wars. They all started with the word "Sparkling" and somehow that made them Star Wars-y? Anyway, go get your own bag or read the full review to find out how they tasted.
Day 16: Pop Secret Homestyle Butter Popcorn
This wasn't a snack that I got all that excited about, because the food was not really Star Wars-related, just the bag. And, having reviewed more than 450 kinds of popcorn, I can say that the food in the bag wasn't all that good. (See the review.) The bag design was nice, with a with a huge portrait of Yoda on the front, and an X-wing and trivia questions on the back.
Day 17: Reese's Puffs
Another day, another bowl of cereal. Having reviewed dozens of different Reese's varieties, I like Reese's a lot, so it wasn't a stretch to try Reese's Puffs in a Star Wars box, even if the puffs themselves are the same as the ones in the non-Star Wars box. When I first saw the box, I thought the roughly spherical puffs shown on the front were supposed to resemble the Death Star. But that didn't make any sense at all (since there were so many of them, plus an actual Death Star, pictured) so I guess they were supposed to be asteroids. Oddly, the Death Star on the front was very irregularly shaped.
The cereal was a mix of peanut butter and chocolate pieces, and it was good as expected. The back of the box was lame as expected, with the exact same puzzle yet a third time. What up, General Mills?
On the plus side, I got another droid toy!
Day 18: Pillsbury R2-D2 Holiday Shape™ Sugar Cookies
Today's Star Wars food was the first to originate in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, and it involved the most work-intensive preparation of The George Lucas Diet so far.
Whereas the pasta soup (Day 6) and SpaghettiOs (Day 10) required opening a can, pouring it into a bowl and throwing it into the microwave, the steps here included heating up the oven, moving the precut dough pieces from the box onto a cookie sheet, placing that in the oven, removing it from the oven, taking the cookies off the sheet and cleaning the cookie sheet. Thankfully, I didn't have to do any of that work, as my friend Laura (who also found this product during her search of Wegmans for edible Star Wars items) handled all of that and gave me the finished cookies. All that I had to do was eat them.
The cookies were bendable and soft for a nice texture, not crumbly at all. They were a bit on the sugary side but still tasted pretty good. The R2-D2 design was no dead ringer for everyone's favorite droid, but if you look at the cookies and think about it, it does make sense that it's supposed to be R2.
The best thing about this product was the warnings on the box. The back warned, "DO NOT EAT RAW COOKIE DOUGH." On the front, they took a different approach: "PLEASE DO NOT EAT RAW COOKIE DOUGH" while also warning, "KEEP DOUGH REFRIGERATED."
Could there be an easier way to prepare these cookies? Apparently I'm not the only one to ask this question, based on the final warning. "DO NOT MICROWAVE UNBAKED POPPIN' FRESH™ DOUGH." I would have tried it, just to see what would happen, but all I had were the finished cookies, so I couldn't try.
Day 19: Trident White Spearmint Sugar Free Gum
This is the first time during The George Lucas Diet that anyone might legitimately question whether the day's chosen Star Wars item should be considered food. Is gum food? I don't know. They list calories on the package (each piece is reduced from 8 calories to 5 by virtue of being sugar free) and there is a Nutrition Facts box, so it apparently does provide some nutritional value.
Anyway, to follow up on those R2-D2 cookies, we've got R2's good friend C-3PO on the gum container. They didn't try to get too artistic with C-3PO this time, but it still looked a bit off to me. I think they just got the shape of his head wrong, as it's too angular and not round enough.
I hardly ever chew gum, but this was pretty good, with a nice spearmint taste.
Day 20: Pop Secret White Cheddar Popcorn
Today we've got more popcorn from Pop Secret, but instead of Yoda on the bag, we've got his Sith counterpart Darth Vader, and instead of a promise of butter, it's white cheddar. Another nice bag design, and better popcorn than last time.
Day 21: Chex Mix Cheddar
More General Mills today! At the Stop & Shop snack aisle, BB-8 was staring me down as I discovered that they're selling Chex Mix in Star Wars bags. (Taquitos.net has reviewed many varieties of Chex Mix over the years!) It turned out that this was just standard Chex Mix inside. That was disappointing, because it seems like with some minimal effort, General Mills could have at least changed the triangular cheese crackers into a Star Wars shape.
But at least the bag was tied to the new movie, with not only the new droid, but also a clear movie plug on the back. The other good news from the back of the bag was that there are actually three different Star Wars Chex Mix bags, each a different flavor, which could help to extend the length of The George Lucas Diet.
Day 22: Mac & Cheese Dinner
More mac & cheese! But not the same mac & cheese. Well, not quite the same.
Like the mac & cheese from Day 3, this kind was from Kraft, and it included the same five Star Wars shapes. But this kind promised to be easier to prepare, by eliminating the need to separately boil water, provide butter and milk, or even have a bowl on hand. All that I had to do was add water to the provided bowl, nuke it for a few minutes, add the cheese powder and mix. Then I got to eat it right out of the very same bowl! I did have to provide my own spoon.
The pictures show the bowl after microwaving, after dumping the cheese powder on top, and after mixing. As for the eating part, it was not that good. It did taste different than the other kind, but not noticeably worse or better.
Day 23: Yoplait Imperial Strawberry Banana
Go-Gurt from Day 11 is old news now, but today we've got actual yogurt! Imperial Strawberry Banana was one of two flavors in this themed multi-pack. The box had the same Darth Vader art that was used on Day 20's popcorn, but they did have a new-to-me Darth Vader illustration on the yogurt cup.
Yoplait's (non-Star Wars) Strawberry Banana is one of the yogurts that I eat regularly, and this wasn't as good as that. This kind had a uniform smooth consistency, thinner than regular Yoplait, with no chunks of strawberry or banana. I couldn't taste much banana, and the strawberry wasn't as good as the regular Yoplait. Not great yogurt, but it was OK. I doubt that stormtroopers would have enough energy to do their jobs if they ate much of this every day.
Day 24: Chocolate advent calendar
We're into December, so it's the home stretch of The George Lucas Diet as we count down the days to December 18.
Today we've got the Star Wars version of an advent calendar (or it least that's what it appeared to be). That means there were 24 small squares of chocolate behind paper doors, most of them lining up with Star Wars things in a big illustration.
There was some strange stuff going on with this product. The first strange thing was that the packaging didn't actually have the words "Advent Calendar" anywhere. The second strange thing was that the numbers on the compartments were all out of order. The third strange thing was that the shapes on the bottoms of the chocolates had nothing to do with Star Wars. (Some of them were clearly Christmas-themed, but in many cases, we just could not figure out what they were, with some kind of resembling intimate body parts.)
I didn't eat them all myself, but I did eat the first five pieces, plus a few more later. I thought it was below-average milk chocolate. But oddly, when I shared the rest of them with folks at my Tuesday night running group, people kept saying that it tasted really good. They also told me that you're supposed to eat just one a day on an advent calendar. Which this might have been.
Day 25: Yoplait Hyperspace Berry
More yogurt. It's the other flavor from that multipack that I started on Day 23. Both the Hyperspace Berry name and the package design were inferior to Imperial Strawberry Banana. But surprisingly, this yogurt tasted better (and I usually don't like Mixed Berry yogurt, nor raspberry, if that's what this was).
The cup had a visual trivia question on it, but it was way too easy. Perhaps they're targeting very young folks here, but they're probably among the most likely to be able to answer tougher trivia than this.
Day 26: Old El Paso Stand 'n Stuff Taco Shells
When I started out this diet, I really didn't know where it would take me. It didn't even cross my mind that I'd get to eat tacos and have it count. (I love eating tacos!)
Major credit here goes to my friend Daisy, who spotted some Old El Paso taco products with Star Wars logos on the boxes. This one featured BB-8 on one side of the box and Captain Phasma on the other. I'm showing the side with Phasma because BB-8 seems to be hogging the spotlight.
The tacos themselves weren't Star Warsy, but the box did have some sort of offer that would give you $5 to spend at a movie theater concession stand if you buy $10 in Old El Paso stuff, keep all the receipts and follow the complicated procedures outlined. I doubt I'll follow through with it.
I didn't get fancy in preparing the tacos. I just cooked some ground beef with taco seasoning and added sour cream and salsa.
Do they serve tacos at the cantina on Mos Eisley?
Day 27: Captain Phasma chocolate stocking
Here's what I've learned about Captain Phasma through some Googling: I evidently assumed wrong. Captain Phasma is a woman. She wears a mask similar to a stormtrooper's, but she isn't a stormtrooper.
Anyway, this Christmas stocking was made of chocolate, hollow and featured Kylo Ren on the box and Captain Phasma on the foil wrapper. The chocolate shell varied in thickness (some parts were very thin, but it still held together) and it tasted pretty good.
Day 28: Pop Secret Kettle Corn
Go Phasma! Yes, she's a part of The George Lucas Diet for a third consecutive day. This time her name's even featured prominently on the back of the bag.
On a related note, all that I ate during a three-hour afternoon train ride (having skipped lunch) was some of this popcorn. It was better than the other two kinds from Pop Secret and wasn't bad, but cannot rank among the best kettle corns. More salt would have helped. Read my snack review!
Day 29: Coffee Mate C-3PO Hazelnut
Today's food is a bit of an odd one for someone who doesn't drink coffee. That's me. I discovered it by accident, as I was in the supermarket to get ground beef and taco seasoning for Day 26's tacos, then scanned several aisles for more Star Wars stuff (fruitlessly) before going to the dairy section to get some milk. I spotted the four pictured containers and could not believe it!
They were very nicely designed (though the placement of the Coffee Mate logo on Boba Fett was inelegant), and along with four different characters came four different flavors ... and thus four days added to this diet!
For today, I just poured myself a glass of the C-3PO Hazelnut flavor, with no coffee or anything else involved. Having it straight-up was definitely very high on the sweetness scale, but the sugar was tolerable and still tasted good.
Day 30: Chex Mix Traditional
More Chex Mix! This time it's Kylo Ren on the outside of the bag and the Traditional flavor inside. That means two kinds of Chex, two kinds of pretzels, squiggly bread sticks and pumpernickel melba toast, same as when Taquitos.net reviewed this flavor many years back. Nothing special about the actual food for this Star Wars bag.
The back of the bag was mostly the same as the Cheddar flavor from Day 21. No additional information about Kylo Ren, unfortunately.
Day 31: Old El Paso Taco Boats
When I embarked upon The George Lucas Diet, I knew that it would challenge me both mentally and physically. But I had no idea just how much I would ultimately learn from this project.
I found this box when I was searching for the Stand 'n Stuff taco shells that I ate on Day 26. My apologies for shouting here, but my reaction was, THERE'S SUCH A THING AS A TACO BOAT? I eat tacos quite a bit, but I had absolutely no idea.
The soft shell of the Taco Boat felt flimsy, but it did provide lots of space to fill up with meat, sour cream, onions, salsa and cheese. And now I know.
Day 32: Popchips Crazy Hot
Today Kylo Ren is back, armed with his lightsaber, but this time he's on a bag of Popchips. Taquitos.net previously reviewed this Crazy Hot flavor, but I must compliment Popchips for a few improvements here. First, they made the effort to rewrite all of the marketing copy on the back of the bag with Star Wars in mind. First time that I've seen anything like this in 32 days. Well done. Second, the chips were still not crazy hot, but they were hotter than that previous bag.
Day 33: Subway fountain beverage in Star Wars collectable cup
I found out about Subway's Star Wars promotion from an ad during Arrow last night. Didn't catch all the details. I don't eat Subway often, but this was reason enough to go.
At Subway, I looked around for anything Star Wars and initially came up empty. A second scan revealed a sign at the bottom right of the menu describing six collectible Star Wars cups.
They sell a combo with a six-inch sandwich, chips and drink for $6, so I ordered a sandwich and told the cashier that I wanted a combo with a Star Wars cup and a bag of chips (specifically, Miss Vickie's Jalapeño chips). She handed me a regular non-Star Wars cup. I had to explain three times and point to the sign twice before she figured out what I wanted. Apparently this cup is just the one that you get when you order a Large. So at this location anyway, Subway's Star Wars promotion isn't a very big deal. I suspect that corporate headquarters expected a lot more visibility, given what they're probably paying to be part of the vast Star Wars industry.
Day 34: Assorted chocolates
More chocolate! I found this tin at CVS, and it was filled with 16 small milk chocolates individually wrapped in red foil. The pieces were flat and shaped like R2-D2, a stormtrooper, Darth Vader and Yoda. I ate one of them (a stormtrooper) and shared the other 15 with folks at November Project. It wasn't particularly good chocolate.
The art on the front was pretty good, depicting Darth Vader in three different poses, plus his TIE Advanced x1 fighter. The company name on the back of the tin was Galerie, same as the lollipop from Day 13.
Day 35: Star Wars Dispenser with Candy Pieces
Today's combination toy/food was a Darth Vader action figure that doubles as a dispenser of little bits of sour candy. To fill it up, you just need to remove the helmet, put the bag of candy bits inside and re-attach it. Hitting the button on the front causes one or more candies to pop out as it makes the sound of Darth Vader breathing.
The cool thing about this was that in real life, you need to watch three (or six) movies to see Darth Vader's helmet removed (depending on which order you watch), but in the candy aisle, you just need to rotate his head counterclockwise a bit, and it pops right off.
Day 36: Coffee Mate Chewbacca Spiced Latte
Today I dove farther into the stash of Coffee Mate that I started on Day 29, specifically the Spiced Latte with Chewbacca on the front. I had some of it straight-up, and some with a mug of hot chocolate. It was even sweeter than the Hazelnut one on its own, but it was quite nice mixed in with the hot chocolate.
I looked closely at the package and noticed some nice details. There was some minor theming in the marketing copy on the back, but even better, they extended the lines of the UPC code to create trails behind two X-Wing fighters.
I also noticed that they plugged five different Star Wars versions on the back, including a Darth Vader version (flavor unspecified) that I have not seen in any stores that had the others in stock. Will need to keep looking.
Day 37: Apples
How 'bout them apples? Yes, they're selling Star Wars-branded apples.
I found these on a large Star Wars display amid an even larger apple section at Stop & Shop. The art for Darth Vader, Yoda and a stormtrooper was the same as several other previous foods. The apples were of the Gala variety, and were packaged by a company called Sage Fruit Company from Yakima, Washington. I ate one myself and shared the rest with friends after a November Project workout. One of those folks heard something about Star Wars oranges, so I'll be on the lookout for those too.
The only weird thing about the bag (aside from it being a Star Wars-branded bag of apples) was the statement, "Coated with food grade vegetable and/or shellac based wax to maintain freshness."
Day 38: BBQ Popchips
More Popchips! And more BB-8!
Yes, Popchips is back with the previously reviewed barbecue flavor in a special bag featuring very clever marketing copy. They tasted good. And the movie is less than three days away!
Day 39: Water
Yes, there's such a thing as Star Wars water. And yes, I'll buy just about anything with a Star Wars logo on it.
Thankfully, I didn't spend much on this one. I found it at Kmart, and the pack of 24 bottles cost just $2.99. It was packaged by Niagara Bottling, LLC in Ontario.
The water was good, and I even liked the packaging with BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO. But the marketing people blew it big time here. How did it not occur to them to put, "Fresh from Uncle Owen's moisture farm!" on the label?
Day 40: Fla•Vor•Ice Lightsaber Ice Pops
The movie opens tonight! It seems I have enough foods on hand to keep this going a while longer.
Today we've got a freezer favorite that I found at Christmas Tree Shops. These tubes came in four flavors: Dark Side Punch (red), Imperial Punch (purple), Rebel Punch (blue) and Jedi Punch (green). Much like the Go-Gurt from Day 11, one side of each tube was designed to look like a lightsaber. I thought the Imperial Punch and Jedi Punch tasted quite good, while the other two were just OK.
Day 41: Boba Fett Coffee Mate
I saw the movie on opening night, a midnight showing wrapping up just before 2:30 a.m. Very good! I brought one of those water bottles from Day 39 to the theater. No spoilers here, but today I went with a food based on a character who wasn't in The Force Awakens. Yes, more Coffee Mate for this non-coffee drinker.
The package design was nice, with a good rendition of everybody's favorite bounty hunter's suit, including the scuff marks on his helmet. As for the liquid inside, the Italian Sweet Crème flavor was quite sweet to drink it on its own, but it worked well once again as an additive to hot chocolate.
Day 42: Popchips Sea Salt Potato
BB-8 Popchips, check! Kylo Ren Popchips, check! This was the third kind of Star Wars Popchips, but I was very excited to see Chewbacca get his moment in the sun. The Popchips folks once again did a great job with the graphics and marketing copy on the bag. And when I reviewed this bag, it marked the 23rd variety of Popchips reviewed by Taquitos.net.
Day 43: Strawberry Watermelon and Punch Go-Gurt
More Yogurt. Specifically, more Go-Gurt. But not quite the same Go-Gurt from Day 11. BB-8 is back on the box, but this time it came in a 16-pack instead of 8, and the flavors were Strawberry Watermelon and Punch. Despite the different flavors, the tubes had the same assortment of characters as that first box, again readable by the Blippar app.
I thought the Strawberry Watermelon tasted pretty good. Was not a fan of the Punch flavor. All of the punch flavors of Fla•Vor•Ice were better than this.
(Spoiler alert ... but not about the movie! When I bought these, I saw yet another flavor assortment of Star Wars Go-Gurt that might make an appearance in The George Lucas Diet soon.)
Day 44: Candy Pieces, Lollipop & Stickers
Today's assortment of Star Wars candy (found at CVS, again made by Galerie) came in a translucent green stormtrooper helmet-shaped case. Inside, there were eight packets of five candies, also shaped like stormtrooper helmets. Each packet had a random assortment of white and red pieces. There was also one stormtrooper lollipop, and a set of stickers that included one stormtrooper and Chewbacca. The candies were OK, with a taste like Sweet Tarts and smoother surfaces, but the detailing was minimal, so they didn't look a lot like the helmets. The green case is nice, but I'm not sure what I can do with it.
Day 45: Darth Vader Coffee Mate
More Coffee Mate, and not only does this one feature Darth Vader, but it's also supposed to include chocolate! I mixed the Espresso Chocolate flavor with some milk, and it tasted like coffee ice cream (which I liked).
One very nice touch was the alteration made to the bar code design. While some other flavors depicted X-wing fighters, here they extended the code to make a Death Star!
Day 46: Movie theater popcorn
I saw the movie again today, this time in IMAX 3D. Pretty cool. My friend Nathan shared his popcorn with the group, and it wasn't just movie theater popcorn, but movie theater popcorn in a stormtrooper container, thus making it eligible for today's installment of The George Lucas Diet!
Day 47: Mike Chocolate & Toy Surprise
Today there was a surprise! This box contained a chocolate egg and a mystery toy that could be Darth Vader, Yoda, Boba Fett, R2-D2, C-3PO or a stormtrooper. I kind of assumed that the toy was going to be inside the chocolate egg, but it turned out that there was a separate plastic egg containing the toy, so the foil-wrapped egg was just a hollow chocolate egg.
The toy turned out to be a stormtrooper. It came in three pieces and was easy to assemble. The chocolate egg had a nice smooth exterior and was pretty big, about the size of your typical chicken egg. The taste was OK, fairly typical of cheap holiday chocolates.
Day 48: Cherry Candy Cane
I saved this one to eat on Christmas Day. It's a very large candy cane featuring C-3PO, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Yoda and a stormtrooper wearing Santa hats. Well, it turned out that the characters were actually on the wrapper, so the cane itself had just red, green and white stripes. Kylo Ren graced us with his presence on the box.
The taste was very good, with a nice sweet cherry taste, and this is from someone who doesn't even particularly like cherries.
Day 49: Nacho Cheese Stand-up Taco Shells
Old El Paso makes quite a few different packages of taco shells, as well as foods to help fill those taco shells. But the Star Wars promotions have been reserved for a select few products, as despite many visits to the taco section of various stores, all I had found were the stand-up shells from Day 26 and the boats from Day 31.
It doesn't hurt to keep checking! Stop & Shop surprised me with this version, which, much like Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell, has a nacho cheese coating on the surfaces.
I filled two of them with avocado, Ro-tel, Old El Paso refried beans, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Very good!
Day 50: R2-D2 French Vanilla Coffee Mate
This makes 5 kinds of Coffee Mate, and again, prior to The George Lucas Diet, I hadn't had any. This one was white to start with, and I mixed it with milk, so the mixture was still white, but it tasted a like more like French Vanilla than milk. Sweet once again, but not bad.
Day 51: M&M's lightsaber and Darth Vader fan
I spotted this a few weeks back at CVS but didn't buy it, because I didn't want to spend $10 and figured it would be cheaper after Christmas. Score one for me: They were closing them out at $5, so I bought it.
The box contained a lightersaber and a fan, each with a compartment on the bottom to hold M&M's, plus two bags of Fun Size M&M's. Unlike real lightsabers, this one had the Star Wars logo on the beam of light (Thanks Disney?) but otherwise I liked it. There were odd warnings on both items about cleaning the M&M's compartments before putting anything edible in there, and that seemed impractical, so I just ate them right out of the bags.