It’s not out of place for brands to try to ride on some hype to advertise their products and, of course, get some extra sales. Sometimes, those marketing attempts are genius and sometimes you can’t help but go “WTF!”. Coca-Cola’s and Disney’s latest Star Wars collaboration stands somewhere near the latter. The two have made a very convincing replica of a Star Wars prop available from the newly opened “Galaxy’s Edge” theme parks. The soda bottles are, in fact, so convincing that the TSA is banning them on all flights, be it checked-in or carry-on luggage.
The Coca-Cola bottles are sold in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge parks at Disneyland as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios and are designed to mimic the appearance of “thermal detonators” from the fictional universe. Aside from the Coca-Cola branding and an alien language, the bottles pretty much look like rotund grenades.
That last part is what set off the TSA’s alarms. It’s not that the bottles are being singled out but, instead, applies to all similar replicas. Whether they are mere replicas or, worse, inert explosives, they are not allowed on flights. That applies even if they are mere toys or, in this case, drinking bottles.
That is, of course, quite unfortunate, given how popular the bottles have become. In addition to being memorabilia, the bottle is, of course, also useful. Walt Disney Imagineering was quite proud of the merchandise’s design and its faithfulness to the Star Wars lore. Unfortunately, it was indeed too faithful and too convincing.
Unfortunately, they probably didn’t foresee the security issues the products would generate exactly because of their design. While the TSA doesn’t ban replicas of lightsabers because they are less likely to actually be real. The Coca-Cola bottles, on the other hand, could give even passengers reason to worry.