We’ve spent some time looking backwards to an unexpectedly intact website this week, so perhaps it’s time to revisit one that exists only as a dusty ruin in Archive.org’s Wayback Machine: The “Defeat The Dark Side” site that coincided with the appearance Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace in 1999. You might recall this as the fast-food promotion that spanned three different fast-food universes—Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut—in which players collected game pieces that allowed them to, as the name suggested, defeat the Dark Side (and claim prizes for doing so). You may not recall that the game also featured a website in which Colonel Harland Sanders, the Taco Bell Chihuahua, and Pizza Hut Girl (a mascot created for the promotion and not seen since) were cast into the Star Wars universe. In fact, each character has his or her own bio page detailing their Rebel Alliance bona fides. All are worth reading, but The Colonel’s, which features several images of Sanders striking battle poses and holding a lightsaber, deserves reprinting in full:
At age 65, armed with nothing more than determination, a bucket of chicken and a secret recipe, Colonel Harland Sanders started KFC and had the whole universe lickin’ its fingers a few years later. His reputation as a force to be reckoned with makes him a natural when it comes to showing the Dark Side who’s boss. Any Battle Droid messing with the Colonel had better watch out, because this time, he’s serving up a bucket full of pain.
Which raises the question: Is this canonical? Do Colonel Sanders, the Taco Bell Chihuahua, and Pizza Hut Girl (a highly skilled 23-year-old who’s discovered “a position where her love for pizza and mastery of Tae Kwon Do collide”) really exist in the Star Wars universe? Could they show up in the in-progress sequels? A quick check with the Defeat The Dark Side Wookiepedia entry produces a definitive, if disheartening, answer: “This article covers a subject that has been deemed non-canon by either the author or the Star Wars licensees, and thus should not be taken as a part of the ‘real’ Star Wars universe.”