Romanesco broccoli cameo lights up Star Wars film


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.

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.

Leave a comment


  1. Ha! I noticed it too. The Romanesco stole the scene, I couldn’t stop listening irking at it! Love that veggie.

  2. I am thinking like a two-year-old–that looks too strange to eat. Plus, I looked up “fractals” and cannot seem to understand it. Maybe I will go eat something and then try to understand fractals. Now, I will be watching for this when I see Star Wars this week.

  3. I was staring at the romanesco and wondering if they wanted us to think it was a fruit since it was sitting in the kiwano skin. Thanks for naming it. I did not know what it was.

  4. THANK YOU! I thought I was the only one. I missed some dialog in that scene because I was so distracted that Rey appeared to be eating an apple fused with Romanesco. Or was it an apple hollowed out and used as a sort of edible ice-cream cone for the Romanesco? I needed to talk to her chef. Or gardener. Or food stylist.

  5. Ha! I noticed that, too… It was jarring, but I decided I didn’t have a problem with it, since Romanesco kinda *looks* like it came from outer space. Maybe we’re now seeing it in its proper setting for the first time?

  6. Pingback: 10 curiosidades de Star Wars: El despertar de la Fuerza – Parte II - Universo Nintendo

  7. Lucky us! Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds donated organic heirloom Romanesco Broccoli seeds to launch the new Stanton Community Garden in Stanton CA USA. Thanks, Baker Creek!
    We will use this info to encourage young Trekkers to come grow purple carrots and Rainbow Chard, and popcorn to cook with a solar cooker! (Just an idea…! ;)..)
    Wish us luck!

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