Behold: ThinkGeek’s Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray/freezer-pop-maker/chocolate bar mold! It has been 31 years since roguishly dashing starship captain Han Solo was frozen alive for the convenience of a bounty hunter, but his frosty visage still has a strong enough hold on the popular imagination to move kitchen gadgets.
For better or worse, the Han Solo in Carbonite device is just one of a whole bunch of Star Wars–inspired cookery gadgets. Such as:
And Amazon, inexplicably, has an ordinary 1.5-quart slow cooker filed under “Home & Kitchen > Kitchen & Dining > Cookware > ‘Star Wars.'” No clue what that’s about, but it’s thought-provoking.
Why the prolific cross-pollination between Star Wars and the kitchen? There’s nothing particularly gastronomic about the movie series, so it’s not a natural fit.
But for all the many, many problems with the three most recent films in the series (a search for Jar Jar Binks cookware is not a particularly fruitful one), Star Wars is a vivid universe. We imagine stories taking place off-screen, worlds beyond the worlds we’re shown, and we imagine ourselves in the universe that George Lucas and his far more competent underlings and associates have created. The Star Wars universe is one we’d like to inhabit, and by bringing pieces of it into our homes, we take a step in that direction.
And, of course, these days the series is fully cross-generational. Parents, kids, and now grandparents are invested in the saga, and few activities bond disparate generations like cooking and/or eating food. Particularly cookies, cupcakes, and fun-shaped ice cubes.
Finally: There’s just something pleasingly amusing about the whole life-and-death struggle for the universe juxtaposed with a cupcake stencil set. It calls to mind Darth Vader with a flour-dusted denim apron, using the Force to pull a warm pan of cupcakes out of the oven, a bit of frosting still stuck to his pinkie in the wake of some serious test-tasting.