Smart, ‘90s-loving eyes may have spotted cans of Josta on Major Mobius’ desk during the premiere episode of the new Disney+ series Loki. But why? The soda—which was famously flush with whatever guaraná is and thus holds the dubious title of being the first energy drink ever mass-produced by a soda company—was only on shelves from 1995 to 1999. As with anything these days, there’s a grassroots campaign to bring it back, but 435 Facebook fans doesn’t a Marvel-endorsed movement make. So what’s the deal with Mobius’ vintage drink? Is guaraná the fuel of the future, or is someone in the prop department just making a deep Black Panther reference?
The answer, as it turns out, is kind of a combination of both. According to the Loki’s director, Kate Herron, the idea to include Josta—along with other defunct properties— was born in the show’s writers’ room, possibly by Loki’s Executive Story Editor Eric Martin or Marvel creative producer Kevin R. Wright. Head writer Michael Waldron said the Josta inclusion was born from the idea of asking, “How can we just put in little fun flourishes of discontinued things and things that feel alternate reality throughout the TVA? That’s that’s why you see that stuff popping up.” Director Kate Herron is particularly fond of the placements, because, as she puts it, “It’s really funny. They exist outside of space and time and they have access to all this stuff.” And yet, Mobius still chooses to drink Josta, a drink a blogger once said “wasn’t made from bat poop, but it tasted like it.” We guess even in the Marvel Universe, there’s no accounting for taste.
Waldron even teased an additional retro soda to keep an eye out for next week, saying that in Loki’s second episode, “Mobius is drinking BoKu, which Richard Lewis advertised back in the day as well.” Fans of wry commercials for adult juice boxes, consider yourself warned. Loki is coming for you, too.