R2-D2 Special Edition Droid Phone by Motorola (But R2 has been with me for years)

Apparently, Motorola, Google, and Verizon have teamed up to produce the Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Special Edition Phone. You can learn about it at the official site here (if you follow @droidlanding on Twitter), or see a picture of the phone here (it looks like a flat, rectangular R2-D2).

That’s cute and all, but I’ve been R2’s buddy since the first generation iPhone:

In all honesty, I’ve been thinking a lot about Star Wars merchandising lately. I’m troubled by it, by my participation in it (yes, I just mailed off my five UPCs for the vintage, rocket firing Boba Fett), and its lasting effect on life to the present (collecting, playing, maintaining interest in movie tie-in toys). I am going to write more on this in the future, but I want to scan some old Christmas and Birthday photos first, so that I can use them in my essay.

For the time being, consider Star Wars and ESB Producer Gary Kurtz’s interview here, in which he says: “The emphasis on the toys, it’s like the cart driving the horse. . . . If it wasn’t for that the films would be done for their own merits. The creative team wouldn’t be looking over their shoulder all the time.” Now, I’m off to Wal-Mart to see if they have any of the new vintage Star Wars action figures in stock.

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.