The merchandising will be with you. Always.

 Star Wars fans know that creator George Lucas is no stranger to marketing. I've personally purchased the original Trilogy four times, and know that I’ll be in to George for at least one more go 'round once he releases them on Blu-ray.

On the one hand, you’ve got to hand it to Lucas for retaining the rights to his films in what turned out to be the shrewdest, billion-dollar move Hollywood ever saw. On the other hand, this marketing blitzkrieg ends up producing fan repellent/toy-friendly characters like Wicket the Ewok and everyone’s favorite Gungan, Jar Jar. And for the truly self-hating Star Wars fan, check out The Star Wars Holiday Special. (Shudder!) Tech site Gizmodo went so far as to call Lucas “Dark Lord of the Sh**” for his marketing, um, prowess.

Star-wars-remote Earlier this week, we saw the release of Star Wars bowling balls. Well, LucasFilm's Death Star-like marketing department is working overtime this week, and their latest move to Jedi mind-trick you out of some cash is the release of a Darth Vader TV/DVD combo. While the idea of a Sith lightsaber-styled remote is kind of cool, especially if it lit up and had some sweet sound effects, $200 seems like a lot for a bit of merchandising that really serves little purpose. And with this baby featuring a 14-inch CRT, it must be straight from, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” Come on, George. You know Vader would use Plasma! Also, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting on this thing getting THX certification. – John Sciacca

John Sciacca is The Custom Installer columnist for Sound & Vision. His company is Custom Theater and Audio.

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