Force Friday has become something of a bonanza in recent years. An event born of Disney’s incredible knack for merchandising, it’s the ultimate product glut for Star Wars fans. It’s usually on a Friday in early October (in this year of Our Dark Lord 2019 it was triple Force Friday because of the release of The Mandalorian, the video game Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.)
During this day-long reveal of incredible merchandise (from the must-haves to the I-didn’t-think-anyone-would-want-this-but-now-I-want-it), different brands reveal their tie-in products. Sure, there are the usual t-shirts, Funko Pops and Porg plushes, but this year premium brands such as Bose and Adidas got in on the game with branded The Rise of Skywalker headphones and shoes, respectively.
But perhaps the most shocking — and the most talked about — Star Wars product to come out of Force Friday this year came from cookware company Le Creuset. The premium brand, best known for its brightly colored cast-iron dutch ovens, released a pretty incredible set of dutch ovens, roasters and mini cocottes that were straight from a galaxy far, far away. If you’re planning on hosting Christmas on Coruscant, these are items you need to make your holiday celebrations a success.
As I am nothing if not a sucker for Star Wars product tie-ins and high quality cookware, you can bet I immediately signed up to be notified when this line was on sale. And the second I got the notification, I put in my pre-order.
You might be asking yourself, “Is this really necessary?” You might be saying, “People like you are why we can’t have nice things.” In response to the first question, I’d answer, “Yes, it absolutely is.” In response to the second, I’d say, “Okay, yes, but it’s STAR WARS LE CREUSET.”
Do I need a Porg pie bird to make excellent pies for the holidays? Probably not. The fact that I have never in my life baked a pie (except for that one pecan pie I made in seventh grade for a school assignment) did not deter me from the desire to own a Porg pie bird. This pie bird might, in fact, be just the thing I need to spur me to make incredible, delicious pies for my family on a weekly basis.
Realistically, it’s more likely that it’s just going to sit on the counter by the stove while I cook, but come on, it’s a Porg pie bird and I’m highly susceptible to good merchandising. But one day I might need that pie bird in the middle of some sort of pie-trastophe, and there my Porg will be, majestically waiting for the day when he’s called upon to service.
In all seriousness (or as serious as you can get when discussing Star Wars cookery), I do quite a bit of cooking at home, and I use Le Creuset’s dutch ovens multiple times a week during the fall and winter. That’s why I was so excited to buy the flagship of this collection, the proverbial holocron in this Sith crown: the Darth Vader dutch oven.
This isn’t just a regular dutch oven on which Le Creuset slapped the Star Wars logo. It’s actually quite beautiful, and has the same heirloom quality as any of the company’s other cast-iron cookware. It gleams black and shiny, much like Lord Vader himself, and it evokes his presence when sitting on the stove. The inside has the enamel coating you expect from Le Creuset, but it’s black, rather than cream, which ties together the whole package. On the inside of the lid, you’ll find the Imperial logo, another hint that some serious nerdtastic thought went into creating this piece.
But all of this means nothing if the dutch oven isn’t functional, so I set about putting it through its paces. One night, it held the filling for biscuit-covered chicken pot pie (more on that later). The next, it sat in the oven for six hours cooking pulled pork to perfection. The night after that? Jambalaya. It performed exactly as I expected.
Because I am “ridiculous,” I also ordered the mini cocottes, which are small personal-sized stoneware dishes that look like droids. For the record, I am R2-D2, my husband is C-3PO and my baby is BB-8. If we ever have another child, they are simply out of luck because Le Creuset only made three different models of these.
I used these to portion out the individual biscuit-topped chicken pot pies (which are, essentially, baking a biscuit on top of chicken pot pie filling). The results were as majestic and wondrous and out of this world (and galaxy) as you’d expect, given the quality of the cookware. Does it taste better than food cooked in Le Creuset’s regular pots? No, but it certainly looks more fun, and these would make a great conversation starter for any holiday.
As a side note, I would also like you all to admire my restraint in not purchasing the roaster, which I desperately wanted but acknowledged I already have too many baking pans and don’t actually roast very often. But if Han Solo decked out in the very best carbonite is a piece you want in your kitchen, and you have the funds for it, buying this roaster is a pretty easy decision.
Is this cookware ridiculous? Yes. Is it absolutely delightful? Also yes. Look, if you’re going to drop some money on Le Creuset (which I highly recommend), then you’re going to be spending some money on their dutch ovens. Why not spend a little more (as far as I can tell, the Darth Vader dutch oven costs about $45 more than its regular counterparts) and get a conversation piece that you’ll have for life?
It’s true that there are some pretty terrible aspects of consumption culture that we need to address. However, displaying your geekiness around the house is a lot of fun, and I honestly don’t have a problem with extensive merchandising when the item itself is useful and high quality, and that’s just what you’ll find with this Le Creuset Star Wars cookware.