Something tells me the odds aren’t good

By Tim Nelson
Updated April 02, 2018
Credit: Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi Wan Kenobi warns Luke Skywalker that “you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” than Mos Eiseley, home to the cantina where viewers first meet smuggler and scoundrel Han Solo. It’s also a fitting way to describe any Denny’s located within stumbling distance of a bar after 11 p.m.

So it’s perhaps fitting that the promotional push for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story will rely heavily on cross-branding with Denny’s. This week, the chain announced it’d be offering 12 exclusive Solo trading cards at Denny’s locations and launched an ad touting its partnership with the beleaguered film.

With proceeds from trading card purchases going to help fund nonprofit organization No Kid Hungry, the whole thing seems inoffensive enough. But if some leaked information posted on a Star Wars forum is true, some of the Solo-themed menu items seem a bit silly.

There’s the “lightspeed slam,” a healthy dish that looks more like something from a depressed nutritionist’s Instagram than a meal fit for the Star Wars universe. While Denny’s earns some points for the inclusion of “Crystal Crunch Rocks” in a milkshake and a stack of pancakes, that looks to be the closest the menu gets to anything outside the universe of the diner chain’s typical fare.

As with past Star Wars-food tie-ins, one has to wonder what purpose putting ghost pepper sauce on a bacon cheeseburger and passing it off as something Han Solo might eat ultimately serves. Why not at least serve pancakes shaped like Chewbacca’s face? Maybe some Millennium Falcon waffle fries? Luke Skywalker’s beloved blue milk? I mean, this guy pretty much hits the nail on the head.

When it comes out, Solo: A Star Wars Story will be an interesting litmus test for Disney’s blockbuster franchise. Can the film overcome its well-documented production problems to actually meet expectations at the box office? Is the market for Star Wars movies and subsequent brand tie-ins oversaturated? We’ll have to wait until sometime after Memorial Day Weekend to get definitive answers those questions. But if the movie is as phoned in as this assortment of burgers and breakfast items, you might be better off saving room for something else.