General Mills' Star Wars: Episode II Cereal Gets It All Wrong

Top Headlines

Entertainment

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of January 6, 2015

ARIES: One of the worst moments of a person's life is when they finally realize that they're mortal and are going to die, especially when it's a person like you who only sees the cement truck at the last second.

A Timeline Of Upcoming Superhero Movies

Following the massive successes of the Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers, and X-Men franchises, studios Marvel and DC Entertainment have announced as many as 40 upcoming superhero movies to be released over the next six years ...

Sesame Street’s 45th Anniversary: A Look Back

Sesame Street, the long-running PBS children’s television show starring a cast of Jim Henson muppets who teach children basic learning concepts and introduce them to difficult issues, turns 45 this week.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Satisfaction

Originality

General Mills' Star Wars: Episode II Cereal Gets It All Wrong

Talk about disappointing.

I waited years for Star Wars: Episode II cereal, and now that it's finally here, it's... this. To call this cereal a letdown would be an understatement. From the light-saber marshmallows that look more like tulips to the lame "adventure game" on the back, General Mills' ill-conceived Star Wars: Episode II cereal gets it all wrong.

Maybe it's my fault. I got myself so psyched in the days leading up to the cereal's release, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed. I shielded myself from spoilers as best I could: I knew it would be corn-based and that there would be, among others, R2-D2-shaped pieces, but not much else. I worked ahead so I could get May 10 off from work, and I was first in line when the IGA opened. I ran giddily to the cereal aisle and proudly—proudly!—bought two boxes, one of each of the two collector's-edition designs.

Trembling with excitement, I ran home and cranked up John Williams' score. I sat down at my kitchen table and gazed at the front of the box, from which the visages of Anakin Skywalker, Senator Amidala, and Count Dooku stared back at me, almost daring me to take a bite. I poured myself a heaping bowl and, with unbearable anticipation, took my first taste of the first new Star Wars-themed cereal in almost 20 years.

Let me backtrack here for a minute. The year is 1983. I am 11 years old, and Kellogg's C-3POs have just hit the market. With my allowance money, I buy my own personal box, because there was no way I was sharing one with the rest of the family. That very first bowl opened my eyes to a thrilling new world of space-fantasy-themed breakfast foods.

What I found inside that box was a wonder to behold. Sublimely delicious oat, wheat, and corn pieces—no marshmallows or raisins or anything. None were necessary, as they would only get in the way of Lucas' vision. This was no "part" of a complete breakfast, but a complete breakfast in and of itself! You took one bite and said, "There's a galaxy-spanning saga of rebellion and romance in my mouth!" On top of that, on the back of the box was a cutout mask of one of six Star Wars characters. That was a fucking cereal.

I finished that box in one day and soon started washing cars to buy more. By the end of the week, I had all six masks and got a good start on the box variations. A buddy of my cousin worked at the IGA, so he got the promotional standee, the lucky bastard.

I'm an adult now, but that magical "Summer Of C-3POs" will always be a cherished memory. I can still recite the commercial from memory: "Twin rings fused together for two crunches in every double O." That was back when George Lucas could do no wrong.

Flash-forward to May 10, 2002. I'm sitting at the kitchen table, staring into a bowl of sweetened corn puffs and marshmallow pieces, and I'm not sure what to tell you. Yes, it's sweet-tasting. We knew it would be sweet-tasting. The puffs are small, uniformly shaped, sugar-glazed corn spheroids. Looks like Kix, tastes like Cap'n Crunch. If I were blindfolded, I doubt I could have told you this was meant to be a Star Wars: Episode II cereal.

And those R2-D2 marshmallow pieces that were so heavily hyped? I can't even begin to convey how little they resemble the droid. Poor R2 looks like a cross between Inky from Pac-Man and a stick of roll-on deodorant. I realize it's not always easy to produce a reasonable facsimile of a person or object when you're reducing them to a tiny morsel of corn starch and gelatin, but it doesn't look like General Mills was even trying.

The Slave I marshmallows are, quite possibly, even worse. Not only is it shaped like some sort of bizarre, melted anvil, but its coloration does not even remotely resemble the blue-gray steel of Jango Fett's trusty ship. Instead, the marshmallow is neon-green with a wild swirl of electric blue. That's just lazy cerealmaking, plain and simple. Did the folks at General Mills even bother to watch any of the Star Wars movies? From the looks of this sugary abomination, it sure doesn't seem so.

Now, I assure you, there is no bigger Star Wars fan than me. But no one can convince me that this cereal isn't just something George Lucas threw together for his kids. That's what it all comes down to in the end. If George Lucas could, I bet he'd go back in time and digitally remaster the "Rebel Rocket" toy premium out of C-3POs because it's too violent for his children. (As if a toy rocket could be too violent for a war-themed cereal.)

I guess that's just how the business is nowadays, all marshmallows and foil boxes. You can't even get a cereal made unless you attach it to a big-ticket summer release, then drop to your knees and lick General Mills' boots.

I don't want to get into a whole drawn-out debate about this. I'm 30 years old and am too busy to spend hours arguing with the fanboys on the General Mills message boards who automatically embrace this as the Second Coming of Cheerios. But I am chagrined, make no mistake. If I had the chance to speak to George Lucas, I would strongly urge him to sit down, eat two big bowls of C-3POs, and remember how he used to do it.

And I'm never trusting Harry Knowles again. He likes every damn cereal.