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Pepsi's Role in Episode I

Posted: May 31, 1999
Category: The Phantom Menace

Pepsi will once again be the official soft drink of Star Wars. You should be expecting to see Star Wars related displays, pop cans, bottles, and packaging. There will be a lifesized Yoda offered as an in-store promotion. The Yoda is the new sculpt with more hair and the younger face. There also will be gold Yoda cans placed randomly in boxes of Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Pepsi One, Diet Pepsi, and Storm (only available on test markets). If you find a gold Yoda can, you can redeem it for $20. Also, under the caps from bottles of Pepsi, you win if you find a cap that says "YODA. YOU WIN $20."
Pepsi also owns Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Frito Lay. Frito Lay is going to have a contest where when Yoda is found in a bag, you win a prize. Also, back in 1997 when the Special Editions came out, in Taco Bell's "Feel the Force" game, if you found a Yoda game piece, you won a prize of money. Why Yoda? Because everyone knows who he is and what he looks like. He also is a puppet (non-human) so it is easier to get the rights to make something look like him. He isn't a major character, but is a popular one.
Now, along with all the Pepsi Companies, 7-11 will be having a contest where you take game pieces off of the collectors cups, and a Yoda can mean $20 in Star Wars merchandise or another free Big Gulp or Slurpee. Well, it's just another token to find.
Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut are going to have Monopoly-like game boards that have categories. If you find every one in a category, you win a prize. There also are instant win tokens. One of the categories is "Seek the Jedi Masters." The prize is $1,000 and to win it you need to find Mace Windu and Yoda. Yoda is the rare one to find, and that's actually something Yoda that I'd turn in.
There will be at least 250,000 gold Yoda cans. There are some signs in some stores promoting it, from pole signs to cooler window clings.
Also available is an inflatable gold Yoda can which is around 2 feet tall. Also available are a Jar Jar Binks (Mountain Dew), and a Qui-Gon Jinn (Pepsi).
If you find a gold Yoda can and redeem it, you get a $20 Star Wars check and a replacement can. On the side, it says "THIS IS A COMMEMORATIVE REPLACEMENT CAN WHICH IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A PRIZE. NOT FOR RETAIL SALE." There is also a picture of YODA and a saying. "SIZE MATTERS NOT. THAT'S WHY THIS JEDI MASTER KNOWS THE SMALLEST THINGS CAN MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES IN THIS TROUBLED GALAXY."
Pizza Hut has a Yoda toy. It's called Yoda's Jedi Destiny. It's Yoda sitting in a Jedi Council chair, and when you turn it upside down, it works like a magic 8 ball. They also have a Yoda cup topper, which comes with a cup that shows the lower portion of Yoda's body. The only movable part of the cup topper is his arms.
In the first Pepsi / Star Wars commercial, the alien guy is closing his door, and he has a Yoda door knob.
In the second one (he's playing with the cans), he holds a gold Yoda can, and, in a great Yoda impersonation, says "Go you must."
In the third one (he's driving the taxi), he has a Yoda on his dashboard that looks a lot like his door knob.
There was an ad found at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in New Zealand. It shows a lifesized Yoda replica and a Darth Maul and Jar-Jar Binks one too. This is the 3-D replica, not a cardboard standup. The picture says the approximate value of the replica is $2,000 in the US. This is for all three of the replicas. Originally, I said that Pepsi was going to give some Yoda's to stores for giveaway. They still are. I don't know if the pictures in the ad are the exact replicas or not. They aren't the same as the Pepsi replica, and they look like pictures taken straight from the movie. The Pepsi replica has been spotted, and if you buy $15 or more worth of Pepsi, you could get your picture taken with him (that was only in one store, I don't know how many are doing that).

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