I got my ticket! Revenge of the Sith opens this week, sure to trigger millions of bittersweet moments as Star Wars fans young and old embark on the almost-certainly last-ever big screen debut for the franchise. It doesn’t matter how “good” the movie is: It’s a necessary experience for anyone who ever fantasized about rushing over highway traffic on a speeder bike, for anyone who ever wielded a wrapping paper tube as a lightsaber, and for anyone who filed a written complaint about Greedo shooting first. With so many memories attached to these films and their extended lore, it’s tough to imagine those ending credits scrolling without an audience of massive cheers, massive tears and at least a few hundred rebels who hold lit lighters to the sky in a show of respect to the story that gave them so much joy.
Now us fans…we’ve survived a whole lotta torment over the past several years. Both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were panned by critics, casual viewers and diehards alike, spoofed and insulted in every way possible in every media form imaginable. If that didn’t shake our loyalties, nothing will. Still, if nothing else, it’s given us a sense of humor about the franchise. We love it, but I’ve run into very few Star Wars fans who are unwilling to poke fun of their hobby and its many lovable faults. It’s this newfound humor that paved the way for a number of hysterical cross-promotions in recent months, running the gamut from Chewbacca’s Burger King commercial to M&M’s dressing up like Sith warriors. With Star Wars, nothing is sacred and everything is fair game. I’m sure a great many hate this to no end, but personally, I’d rather have people goof on Star Wars if it means I can walk into a 7-11 and drink Darth Vader’s Slurpee. Introducing…Darth Dew!
Yup, Darth Vader has been immortalized with his very own Mountain Dew 7-11 Slurpee. It’s the last corner of the merchandising universe Vader had left to conquer, and it’s a good thing he managed to squeeze this triumph in before everyone heard him cry about Padme. Lord knows nobody’s gonna want his Slurpees after that. Only the last in the long line of food products Darth’s been featured on over the past few months (he’s got his own fruit snacks, too), the 7-11 Slurpee still remains the greatest of all possible food-related honors. Very, very few folks can say they’ve had their own Slurpee. You, I, the guy down the block? We’ll never have our own Slurpee. It’s the most elite club in history, especially if you choose to ignore the fact that 7-11 did the same thing for Shrek a few years ago.
On top of a great ad campaign, 7-11 is even making a big deal about Darth Dew within the actual stores. I’ve got a few Slurpee centers in my area, and have seen everything from thirty-foot banners to giant inflatables supporting the Force-sensitive slush piles. It’s to the point where one could easily argue that there’s been better marketing for Darth Dew 7-11 Slurpees than the film they’re actually crossed with. In stores, Vader has just about completely taken over the Slurpee machines — which, if you haven’t been to a 7-11 in a while, have grown to the approximate size of Ford Explorers. Though quite possibly the worst tasting Slurpee available from the chain, I doubt that many could wander near the Vader-drenched machine and convince themselves to drink anything else. It just wouldn’t be right.
The Slurpee is a grapey/raspberry/sugary/candy concoction in a rich purple hue, but I’m not sure anyone could down the whole giant cup of it without dying. Maybe it’s just been too long since I’ve had a Slurpee, but this thing coats your insides like the archenemy of Pepto-Bismol, threatening each and every square inch of your intestines with a syrup so sweet it may as well have bees porking each other inside it. I’d recommend only trying a small cup, but then, how could anyone resist the killer deal 7-11’s laying out? For 1.99, you get a limited edition holographic Star Wars cup that holds enough Darth Dew to drown the great lizards of Komodo Island, and a plastic Vader-shaped cup topper. PS, put the topper on before you pour the holy ice, because it’s damn impossible to get the thing on afterwards without covering everything in a three mile radius in Darth Dew Slurpee residue. And trust me, you don’t want to do that: This shit is sticky. My hands still feel like I’ve just completed something naughty.
But yeah, playing into Star Wars fans’ inherent packratty nature and inclination towards collecting everything, the cup is easily washable and will likely serve as a shelf topper even after Darth Dew only lives on as checkmark in 7-11’s Yearly Quota of Stupid Liquid Promotions notebook. For 2.99, you can skip what I just mentioned and fill a giant plastic Yoda head with Darth Dew instead. That’s even more surreal. It’s like drinking frigid Yoda brains, and I’d comment on how cool that is if I wasn’t sure someone would take it as a bad pun.
Get ‘em before they’re gone. Give in to your anger. Also, check out Darth Dew’s official site!