So, who spotted the Romanesco broccoli and — bonus points here– the blurry kiwano in the latest Star Wars movie? We did, as did reader Wayde, who dropped us a note about it. It appears as a pub snack on that inexplicable Angkor Wat vacation planet, with light alien reggae stylings in the background.
I’ve discovered that the Romanesco, being a food geek favorite because of its fractal structure, did get some high level notice in the media–including Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Village Voice.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 21, 2015
We make it a hobby around here to spot the use and misuse of plants in Hollywood. This one is interesting, because while the Romanesco is presented as a food, as it should be–as opposed to ivy vines being presented as a food crop in Maze Runner– it is an Earth food, so it’s interesting that the film makers decided to include it as part of the scenery. The only other edible in the movie is special effect-based alien food–I won’t be spoilery and say any more about that.
The Star Wars world isn’t posited as our future world, as the Star Trek world is–it’s a mythic world, somewhere long ago and far away. I doubt we’d ever see Han Solo noshing on a hot dog, for instance, whereas I can totally imagine Kirk doing so, standing by a future-utopian hot dog stand (and flirting with the sexy alien behind the stand). But a hot dog in Star Wars would be very wrong, because it’s a thing too much of our world. Its presence would collapse the fantasy. But apparently they decided Romanesco and kiwano would not. Why? Because they figured most people had never seen these foods. I don’t know if they were right about that. And also, maybe they also realized that they could work for weeks in their art studios and never invent anything as cool looking as a Romanesco or a kiwano.
On the up side, maybe parents now have the leverage to foist healthy cruciferous veggies on a whole new generation of movie goers. The Romanesco growers must be ecstatic.