Few foods are as intrinsically linked with early life as sweet cereals in brightly colored boxes, adorned with bold characters and the promise of a prize inside. While many of these breakfast classics have their own mascot, it's always a thrill to head down the cereal aisle and see limited-edition boxes combining a favorite treat with everything from athletes to films.
Since its original release 45 years ago, Star Wars has touched almost every part of pop culture — food included. Cereal and convenience food manufacturer Kellogg's is once again partnering with the sci-fi franchise in celebration of the recently released Obi-Wan Kenobi series, streaming now on Disney+.
Barbara Meskin, the marketing director behind cereal innovation at Kellogg's shares that these new boxes are not the first time the cereal manufacturer and Lucasfilm have teamed up. But although they have partnered together in the past to bring Star Wars cereals to breakfast tables in the U.S. and beyond, this box and the cereal inside are totally new.
"This is the first time we have partnered the Star Wars franchise with one of our core Kellogg's brands to offer a new cereal," Meskin tells Yahoo Life. "We have done promotional partnerships between Kellogg's and Star Wars, but the food wasn't unique in those examples."
This July, the new cereal will hit supermarket shelves with a "Dark Side" twist on classic Frosted Flakes. Inside each box, cereal-loving Star Wars enthusiasts will find a mix of original, "Light Side" and chocolate "Dark Side" Frosted Flakes.
Sold exclusively at Walmart, fans can also track down an entirely different box, where the cereal inside, and their path with the Force, are a mystery. Only when you pour that first bowl will you learn if you are on the Light Side, with a box full of classic Frosted Flakes, or the Dark Side, having only chocolate.
I had all of the colors. And the star wars cereal was so good pic.twitter.com/qDa6MWQxlE
— Rebecca Browand (@becky71785) June 12, 2022
With the release of yet another collaboration this summer, many fans recall the thrills of their youth, when their parents would give into purchasing that coveted box of cereal.
"I remember C-3PO's cereal, which seems like forever ago," says Nick Mueller, who lives in Gatlinburg, Tenn. and works as director of operations at travel site HawaiianIslands.com. "I don't even think I liked the taste of the cereal; I just remember begging my mom to get it for me because C-3PO was my favorite character."
Mueller recalls his love of the engaging packaging. "I also remember getting a cut-out mask of Luke Skywalker in one of the boxes and thinking that was the coolest thing ever," he says.
Beth Schubert, co-founder and CEO of food site Own the Grill, says seeing Star Wars cereal immediately takes her on a trip down memory lane. "When I was younger, I have a vivid memory of having Star Wars cereal," she says. "As a big fan of the franchise, when my mom and I visited the grocery store, I always gravitated towards the cereal boxes with my favorite character on them, regardless of the cereal."
"My personal favorite were the C-3PO's," Schubert adds, "not only did they taste great, but the packaging was fantastic, too. I still have a box in my attic — I wanted to keep the cool artwork."
Kellogg's C-3PO's were a favorite back in 1984, but through the decades, many cereal companies got in on the fun celebrating the launch of the prequel films, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace through Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.
Omag Subzwa, who owns SubZero Comics in Garfield, N.J., will never forget the promotional foodie finds from General Mills for the release of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.
"I remember seeing the box for the Episode II cereal at my local supermarket and begging my parents to get it," he says. "It was shiny, it was a collector's edition and it had Jango Fett, so I couldn't resist. The cereal wasn't too bad, but the box will always have a special place in my heart."
In addition to their 2002 collection, in 2015 and 2016 General Mills released an array of boxes in partnership with Star Wars for the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. In 2019, they did it again for Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker. In 2020, the company released a box that featured beloved Star Wars icon Grogu, affectionately known by fans of Disney+ hit the Mandalorian as "Baby Yoda."
— TheMouseAndMore-Adam (@TheMouseAndMore) December 13, 2020
Some would argue that even more important than the boxes are the limited-edition prizes stashed inside.
Jonah Keel, the Los Angeles, Calif.-based vice president of gaming and e-sports public relations firm BHI, a division of 42West, is a self-proclaimed nerd with his very own Star Wars room filled to the brim with memorabilia — cereal box prizes included.
Among his collection? "An Empire Strikes Back cereal bowl, [Darth] Vader, C-3PO and stormtrooper masks cut out from boxes of C-3PO's, a General Mills Landspeeder hang glider and a few stickers that came in General Mills boxes."
As a foodie and Star Wars fan myself, I have vivid childhood memories of hunting and collecting lightsaber spoons from the 2005 Kellogg's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith cereal release. In each box, I would dig out the plastic spoon, eager to click the button and turn it on to see which lightsaber color I would be adding to my collection. I ate off these spoons exclusively for months — and wish I still had one today.
Given an early opportunity to taste the next cereal in a long line of Star Wars collabs, I couldn't wait to open my box of Obi-Wan Kenobi Frosted Flakes, even though there wasn't a lightsaber inside. The verdict? This new blend of Frosted Flakes is somehow even more delicious than the original. The slightly sweet flakes combined with the chocolate flavor work perfectly together. And yes, this cereal does make magical chocolate cereal milk, perfect for slurping at the end of the meal.
Just like myself and many other fans, Oliver Zak, the Los Angeles, Calif.-based CEO and co-founder of tattoo care brand Mad Rabbit, recalls that, as a kid, there was no better thrill than a fun cereal box to kick-start the day.
"This year marks the 20th anniversary of my eating a lot of General Mills cereal promoting Episode II - Attack of the Clones," he says. "Back in 2002, there were a few different collector's editions, each featuring different characters from the movie: One box showed Obi-Wan Kenobi with bounty hunter Jango Fett and another had Anakin and Padme. The cereal itself inside these different editions was the same, consisting of corn puffs with little marshmallow pieces."
"The best thing about this collaboration was the marshmallow pieces shaped to resemble iconic Star Wars symbols, including red and blue lightsabers and a stormtrooper helmet," Zak adds. "As a kid, there was no better way to start the day eating breakfast while thinking about Star Wars."
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