Thursday, January 05, 2012

I want this, and hate myself for wanting this. (Star Wars References.)

The Phantom Menace is no longer just an unfairly-maligned Star Wars prequel; it's also the raison d'etre (that's French for raisin of death) for a new line of sandwiches available to Belgians which, really? There are like four Belgians in the world, total, and Belgium is always just moments away from being downgraded from "country" to "division of Epcot Center," the way scientists downgraded Pluto because they had nothing better to do that week.

What am I getting at? A story broken by HuffPo today that Quick, which is a Belgian restaurant chain, will be offering Phantom-Menace themed burgers, including, most notably, the Dark Vador:

HuffPo wondered why the burger is called the Dark Vador, and I wondered, too.

Initially I thought it might have to do with copyright, because Lucas copyrights everything, but I was thrown off by the fact that the green burger with what appears to be Play-Doh french fries on it is a "Jedi" burger, so I figured If they can use "Jedi" they must be able to use "Darth Vader", right?

Wrong: While Lucas sued a company for using the phrase "Jedi Mind" a while back, he doesn't have a copyright on the word Jedi. From that article:

The other interesting point: Lucas doesn't actually hold a trademark on "Jedi" or "Jedi Mind." It does hold trademarks on Jedi Knight, Jedi Power Battles and Jedi Training Academy but that's not quite the same thing...

That didn't stop "Jedi Mind" the company from caving in, despite the fact that the suit seemed to have no more merit than Hayden Christensen's claim that he actually came up with the idea for USA's Royal Pains show.

But "Darth Vader" IS trademarked for everything from toy figures to children's underwear. Which doesn't clear up anything, because Quick presumably can't use an image of Darth Vader unless they had permission, so why would they get permission for that but not the name?

I assumed then that Dark Vador is what he's called in Belgium, which I figured to prove quickly by googling What do they call Darth Vader in Belgium? but that just led me to this post about someone who met Darth Vader, only it was a giant balloon Vader, which actually exists:

The Vader Balloon has its own website and is available to be booked, which means that with Quick's Dark Vador burger, we are rapidly approaching the Vadersingularity, that time when you can have an entirely-Vader themed existence.

Also: are you disappointed that Hayden Christensen turns out to be kind of a whiner in real life, too? "Padme, I want credit for inventing Rooooooyaaallll Paaaaainnnns."


Heather said...

You are like my husband, you find crazy shit on the Internet and then I learn about it thru you and then I have more useless knowledge in my brain. The benefit is that I like being that annoying girl at the party who is full of inane comments about useless topics.
Thanks for helping me be me


Stephen Hayes said...

If I order one of these Phantom-Menace
burger and I want it well done, do I order it--On The Dark Side?

Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

I wonder that bun is made of? Rye bread? Or do they just dye regular bread? And why does it have lettuce and tomatoes? Those are at least somewhat healthy. Really a true Sith burger should have just tons of cheese and bacon and meat so that it's the unhealthiest thing on the planet.

Clarissa Draper said...

Um, I also want to know what that burger is made of. What are they putting into their bodies. Forget the trademark, is that crap going to kill me?

Andrew Leon said...

I saw an article about this this morning. It's not even the Belgians that get the burgers. The Belgians own the chain, but they're only going to be available in France. IN FRANCE! Why do the French, of all people, get these? It's the Dark Side, I'm telling you, the Dark Side!

There's also a Darth Maul inspired burger, but I've forgotten what it's called.