Revenge of the Tithe: Lament over Lame Star Wars Gift Bag

Hell hath no fury like a Star Wars: Episode III charity premiere gift bag recipient scorned. Eric Perez attended the same screening I napkinblogged for Boing Boing last week. I attended the Los Angeles fundraiser as press, and did not pay (or take a gift bag). Mr. Perez paid $500, for which he was promised an "incredible gift bag containing Star Wars merchandise" and an "Intergalactic After-Party." He was less than impressed with both.

"Did you know in San Francisco they had a death star pinata and wookie cookies?," Mr. Perez exclaims to me via email. "How hard is it to ask a caterer to make wookie cookies? For godsakes, we paid $500!!!! The real reason I'm pissed is cause I saw this guy while I was leaving. He had his 10 yr old son, and his 15-17 yr old sons with him. The dad looked mad, and the kids looked bored. The 10 yr old looked sad. The only thing I could think of was how much it sucked for them, the guy paid at least $2000 to take them. That is definitely not right."

With Mr. Perez' permission, I am publishing the entire text of the protest email he sent to event organizers. Who knows how big this thing could grow? Online petitions. Million-stormtrooper-marches. Damn you, George Lucas, where are the wookie cookies?

Dear Sir or Madam:

On May 12th I attended the Los Angeles Star Wars Episode III premiere. What should have been an exciting and memorable night, turned out to be a great disappointment. I am writing this letter on behalf of all Star Wars fans who attended this event and who paid the minimum $500 a person donation. We were promised "incredible gift bags containing Star Wars merchandise" and an "Intergalactic After-Party," but all we got was disappointment.

The screening itself was the only part of the night that barely lived up to expectations. We only received a video taped interview of Samuel L. Jackson from the New York set of his new movie. Not once before were we told that he would not be attending the event. Considering he was the main chair of the fundraiser, you would think he would be gracious enough to present the movie himself, or atleast ask one of the Star Wars castmembers in attendance too.

After the movie was over we were shuttled to the "Intergalactic After-Party." The only thing that made it even close to being intergallactic was the cardboard cut outs and the members of a local fan club who dressed in costumes. The cut outs were positioned above the buffet tables far out of reach of any fan who may have wanted to pose with them. The food consisted of a variety of sandwiches, mini pizzas, sushi, and other dishes along with cookies and coffee. How hard would it have been to include Star Wars themed food? All this was positioned around an open bar. Considering many drove in alone or with children, an open bar was useless to many. By the first hour close to half the guests left.

The gift bag was the most insulting part of the evening. A gift bag that was described in a press release as containing "Star Wars merchandise and other special gifts" only contained the following:

1. A bag from reebok to hold the gifts
2. A light up lightsaber spoon that is found in Kellogs Cereal boxes
3. A Burger King Star Wars kid's toy
4. A single package of Star Wars fruit snacks
5. A small bag of Starbucks Coffee
6. A small tin of Starbucks mints
7. A coupon for a free whopper at Burger King
8. A discount card for 20% off at Kenneth Cole
9. A cd from an undiscovered singer
10. A bottle of marinara Sauce
11. A lipstick
12. A box of tea

Out of all the items only 3 were even Star Wars related and all were items that cost a dollar or less. Considering most fans are male, why would we need a lipstick? What is so special about a bag of Starbucks Coffee? Who ever made these gift bags did not make them for the Star Wars fans who attended this event. What is worse is that a member of the Lucas Film LTD promotions department was in attendance. How could they not have obtained better Star Wars merchandise?

There are only a few films that would have people be willing to pay $500 dollars a person for., Star Wars is one of them. The Executive Director and Board President Sharon Gelman stated that "Any charity would jump at the chance to be involved in a major Star Wars event! We at ANSA consider it a great honor to be the beneficiary of the Los Angeles premiere of this film, which will actually be an historic occasion, as the grand finale of a true cultural phenomenon." I can not understand how they could do such a dishonor to the Fans who attended this event. An event they themselves called historical. Many things could have been done to make this a more memorable event. Having a star of the film pose for $10 a photo would have made a hugely memorable evening, along with providing more donations to ANSA

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to see the "incredible gift bag," which I still have in its entirety. I hope that you will help me right this wrong.

Eric Perez (email: jiltedfan at

Previusly: Liveblogging LA Star Wars III Premiere with napkincam

Reader Comment: Shannon Larratt says,

I was at the Toronto charity advance premiere of the first of the recent Star Wars films. Paid $750 I think for the tickets. We were promised a similar gift bag, but all we got was a tube of Star Wars TOOTHPASTE if I remember right. However, I think these people are forgetting that it's A CHARITY EVENT and not a way to get something you can sell on eBay at a profit. Big fucking deal if you didn't get $500 worth of swag.