“I’m a person and my name is Anakin.”
– Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars: Episode I
This past weekend, I met up with my good friend (and podcast co-host) Lars in Baltimore. Lars and I have known each other a long time, so I was willing to risk getting knifed or contracting a STD (or, at the very least, getting dragged into a 30-minute conversation about Joe Flacco, hon) in order to hang out with him.
Because I am a giant nerd, I decided to kill some time at a Fells Point comic book store called Graphic Novelty. While wandering through the store, I stumbled across one of the most baffling items I have ever seen in my entire life … an Anakin Skywalker PEZ dispenser.
The PEZ dispenser, which is modeled after the animated series The Clone Wars, is a cartoon version of Hayden Christensen. It was the only PEZ dispenser for sale in the store, which confused me until I figured out that they probably had other Clone Wars PEZ dispensers based on characters like Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi that people actually bought.
Anyone who has followed this site for any significant amount of time knows my feelings on Star Wars Episodes I – III and Hayden Christensen’s “acting.” (Here’s a hint for any new readers out there: I think everyone who paid money to see the films in the theater, myself included, should get to punch George Lucas in the sack.) Still, while Lucas irks me to no end these days, I actually have no problem with him whoring his creation out to PEZ.
Sure, he doesn’t need the money. Thanks to the original three film and the cash he makes from ILM, Lucas could buy all the hookers and blow in the entire world and still have enough money leftover to finance another pointless retooling of the original trilogy. But I’m used to Lucas whoring this franchise out to any and everyone he can. Getting you to buy worthless crap with a Star Wars logo on it was always part of the plan.
Still, the fact that they bothered to make a PEZ dispenser with Hayden Christensen’s face on it is quite confusing to me. What exactly was the thought process going into making it?
I picture a mom walking through Graphic Novelty, seeing this thing and deciding to bring it home to her little boy. I imagine a kid who has watched all six films on a constant loop, one who has imaginary lightsaber fights with his stuffed animals and who begs to dress up like Admiral Ackbar for Halloween. I picture that mom telling her son that she has a surprise for him and his eyes lighting up as she reaches into the bag and starts to pull it out. I imagine the anticipation building in his little boy brain as she begins to lift the present out of the bag. Then, I imagine that little boy’s smiling face slowly melting into a look of sadness and confusion as he figures out that his “present” is having a douchey-looking Anakin Skywalker scowl at him every time he reaches for a tiny piece of candy.
I could almost understand an Anakin Skywalker action figure. If you buy your kid one of those, he could at least play with it. The child could think of his own clichéd, boring dialogue for his tiny plastic Hayden Christensen to woodenly deliver. Perhaps the boy, even though he is too young to have ever experienced love himself, could even come up with more convincing romantic scenes to act out with Anakin and Padame than the ones actually in the films. Or, he could simply have all of his other Star Wars toys team up and beat the crap out of Anakin for being such a whiny little bitch throughout three boring and pointless movies.
If none of that appeals to him, the kid could still have his Hayden Christensen toy pop up as a ghost as he reenacts the final scene of Return of the Jedi, which will help teach the boy a valuable lesson – that all joy is fleeting and that no matter how much you love something now, someday an idiot will come along and repackage and reedit your beloved childhood trilogy, making pointless changes like having Greedo shoot first and reinserting a wisely-deleted scene where Han has a boring conversation with a poorly-rendered Jabba the Hut before climbing onto the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope, so enjoy the good times while you can, try to ignore Hayden Chrisensen’s douchey fucking face staring at you in that last scene in Jedi and, whatever you do, try not to think about poor David Prowse, who was originally in that scene until Lucas decided to change it so it was more in line with his new films, which are filled with so many glaring plot holes that directly contradict information given in the original trilogy that Lucas didn’t bother to address, but for some reason he can’t let this one go without pasting Hayden fucking Christensen into the frame next to Yoda and Obi-Wan.
So yes, a little kid could make an Anakin toy work. But an Anakin PEZ dispenser? What the hell are you supposed to do with that? He doesn’t have a body, just a head. All he does is sit there with his dead eyes and his cold, expressionless face somberly reminding you that Hayden Christensen still exists and continues to get cast in movies, despite not having a modicum of talent. Are the little pellets of sugar crammed inside his stupid, untalented neck really worth having to look at the guy who ruined everything James Earl Jones’ worked so hard to create?
That being said, I totally bought one.
Why? Because if I ever see George Lucas on the street, after I punch him in the balls I’m shoving my Anakin PEZ dispenser right up his ass.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.