Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the Disneyland and Disney World – Hollywood Studios expansion areas based on the iconic space opera film franchise from Lucasfilm, has been offering a unique in-universe “Star Wars” experience to guests ever since their openings last May and this Thursday, respectively. This is reflected in their merchandise, presented as if they were actual products from the “Star Wars” galaxy: lightsabers, costumes, dolls of Wookies and Porgs, mini-Droids, and even bottles of Coca-Cola, Sprite and mineral water with logos written in in-universe galactic script/Aurebesh. Unfortunately, their unique shape has run into trouble with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
CNN reports that the TSA has issued a blanket ban on allowing the special edition plastic bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite through airports, with them being forcibly removed on either checked-in or carry-on baggage for flights within the US. The official line from Transportation Security was that the bottles in question are shaped like explosives, which would fall into standing prohibitions on baggage content. The explosive ban also includes inert, or devices that have been completely disabled of explosive functions, and replica which includes toy bombs and grenades.
The thing is, the TSA has a point regarding the special Coke plastic bottles from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Their rounded shape and contours, topped with a prominent screw cap, is a shout-out to the design of thermal detonators, a type of explosive in the “Star Wars” franchise. Famously, a round thermal detonator was featured in a scene from Episode VI: “Return of the Jedi.” TSA describes the bottles as looking like replica hand grenades, which seems to be an inspiration on the thermal detonator design. Ultimately the Transportation Administration notes that it has the discretion to refuse any baggage item that they feel poses a security threat, as they explained on their Twitter page.
Even Disney executives have remarked on the special edition Coke bottle shapes long before the Galaxy’s Edge areas opened on the two Disney theme parks in the US. Galaxy’s Edge lead project Imagineer Scott Trowbridge also referred to the “thermal detonator” device from “Return of the Jedi” in describing the bottle on a fandom panel.
Both Coca-Cola and Disney have not given any official statement on the TSA ban of their exclusive plastic bottles. The Coke products sold in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are priced at $5.49, making them the cheapest souvenir merchandise in the place. Guests have tried buying them in bulk to hoard during the early days of operation in Disneyland Park, so the park has limited purchases to only three per transaction.
Image courtesy of The Verge