Pottery Barn Kids Print Borrows from a 1977 Burger King Star Wars Promo

Geek Culture

You may have been aware that Pottery Barn Kids has been selling Star Wars bedroom items for a while now. They have some really great-looking bed linens and pillows with art and phrases from the original movie, including, as every Star Wars fan has surely wanted since he or she was little, Star Wars duvet covers. When I’m at the mall and have a chance, I will occasionally stroll into the Pottery Barn Kids store to gaze with geeky longing at the sheets. I would so very much like to put on my kids’ beds and my own, and would do so in a second if doing so were not unjustifiably expensive.

So I was on such a stroll the other day, and noticed that, on the wall above a bed that they had laid out with the various Star Wars items, hung a Luke Skywalker poster. I thought the poster art was a little cheesy, and had no intention of spending $159 on a poster of Luke anyway (Han, maybe, but not Luke), but I looked over the poster just for fun. I read the little paragraph of information about Luke, and started to laugh, because this is what it says (for proof, see the photo below that I took with my iPhone—sorry for the slight blurriness):

Raised on a moisture farm by his uncle on the planet Tatooine, Luke Skywalker is the 20 year old son of a Jedi Knight killed years before by Darth Vader. Luke’s discovery of Princess Leia’s distress message placed in the computer bank of Artoo Detoo, a small robot, leads him to association with Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, last of the Jedi Knights, and a final aerial death struggle with the ultimate Galactic Empire weapon, the Death Star.

Lukeglass_2Lukeglass_2There are several issues there, of course, but one kinda leaps out and grabs you. How, I wondered, could such a poorly-written plot description – one that anyone who knows anything about Star Wars would kvetch about – get on a professionally-produced poster? So I did what everyone does when they have a question: I Googled it, and found this. Go ahead and follow the link, because otherwise you’re not likely to believe it.

Yes, not only is the text on the poster 100% identical to that on the 1977 Burger King Luke Skywalker promotional glass, but the poster’s art is clearly quite similar to that on the glass. I have to think that the reason behind it is this: Part of the licensing deal Pottery Barn Kids made with Lucasfilm was for a poster. They needed art for it, of course, so someone at Lucasfilm found the original artwork from the Burger King promo back when the original movie was in theaters for the first time, and gave it to Pottery Barn Kids to have prints made. I’m just betting they didn’t tell them what the original reason for the artwork’s existence was.

Poster_detailPoster_detailIn a way, I’m glad they didn’t, because if they had, there might never have been a connection between Pottery Barn and Burger King.

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