Do you sense a disturbance in the Force? Maybe that’s because May 25 will be the 40th anniversary of the original release of Star Wars in theaters. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, we’ll be posting Star Wars stories all month, including choice vintage interviews, original videos, and some of our favorite pieces from years past. Just keep coming back here all month to see what’s happening in our galaxy.
The Force is strong with those who eat a balanced breakfast, and in the 1980s, that breakfast might have included a cereal endorsed by C-3PO himself. Kellog’s C-3PO’s cereal hit grocery stores in 1984, one year after Return of the Jedi was released and kids were hungry, literally, for all things Star Wars. The breakfast product was advertised with a series of commercials featuring Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, offering bowls of his cereal (a blend of oats, wheat and corn) to TV audiences and assorted alien life forms. Watch a couple below.
It’s a little odd that C-3PO’s cereal resembled neither C-3PO, nor the letter “o.” The idea was that these figure-8 shaped cereal pieces were a sort of futuristic riff on Cheerios: “twin rings phased together for two crunches in every double-o.” Also, though the pictures in the commercial cast doubt on this, they were supposed to be “golden” like their namesake droid.
As an additional draw, boxes of the cereal featured cut-out masks of Star Wars characters like Luke Skywalker. Mark Hamill still gets a kick out of this; in an interview with Yahoo Movies in January, he mentioned his glee at discovering that he was “a mask on the back of Frosted Flakes, or whatever it was.”
Ridiculous as they are, these ’80s commercials contain a little bit of Star Wars history: the alien who appears eating cereal out of the box, below, is based on an unused Ron Cobb concept design for the Star Wars cantina scene.
At some point, though the internet’s cereal obsessives are surprisingly unclear on the details, C-3PO’s were discontinued. It wasn’t the last of the Star Wars breakfast foods, though: In 2015, General Mills released a new Star Wars cereal as a tie-in with The Force Awakens. And boxes of 30-year-old C-3PO’s still sell to collectors on eBay — although if you’re in the market, please note that they tend to go for $5-$30, not the $1,796.35 asking price of one eBay seller at press time.
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