Would You Trade Chocolate For Lightsabers?
This week I began re-reading Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn’s 1991 novel that gave us the first official post-Return of the Jedi Star Wars narrative, and I just finished the controversial chapter where Luke Skywalker drinks hot chocolate. Wampa jockeys got their panties in a knot over this back in the day, because ostensibly our Earth and its Earthly drinks do not exist in the Star Wars universe (even though Han Solo references the Judeo-Christian concept of Hell in The Empire Strikes Back and there was a passing reference to ducks in the novelization of the original Star Wars). While I’ve never been outraged by Luke Skywalker drinking hot chocolate, it does seem kinda lazy. How hard is it to just make up some nonsense word for space candy? Hot Flunderson. There, that literally took three seconds.
Zahn’s hot chocolate passage made me consider the following: Say chocolate doesn’t exist in the Star Wars universe in any form—it’s completely non-existent—and somehow you’re afforded the opportunity to go live the rest of your life in that exciting galaxy full of aliens, lightsabers, and Millennium Falcons. Would you do it? Would you trade the thrill of sinking your teeth into a Snickers bar every day at three in the afternoon so you could spend the remainder of your days hanging out with Chewbaccas and slicing junk up with laser swords? That would be some trade-off.
I don’t think I could do it. I’m sure they’d have some chocolate substitute or simulation in this strange scenario I’ve set up, but it probably wouldn’t be the same, and to be honest I’d need the kind of comfort only Hershey’s can provide after getting roughed up in a cantina by Walrus Man or Ree-Yees. Same deal with beer, I’d imagine. There’s undoubtedly some substance that got Han Solo fuckin’ ripped to his tits after the assault on the Death Star, but it doesn’t taste/go down anything at all like a Guinness or a Labatt’s or whatever sauce is your ale of choice. What if the only liquor they have in the Star Wars universe is Zima? How would you feel opening a fridge full of that after blowing up an entire Imperial battle station?
But I digress. It’s sort of a moot point, the chocolate thing, because Timothy Zahn has firmly established that it exists in the same realm as Darth Vader and Jawas. Still, he makes it sound like it’s really hard to come by, and do you really want to be flying your spaceship around all day looking for a planet that sells Three Musketeers? I think I’ll just stay on Earth where chocolate’s plentiful and there’s no immediate threat of anyone crushing my windpipe just by thinking about it.