Little macaroni in the shape of "Star Wars" characters is actually kind of cool. What makes it feel like overkill is the fact that there is so much "Star Wars" stuff going on in the consumer product aisles. You've got Campbell's channeling the force with "Star Wars"-themed condensed soup and SpaghettiOs. Then you've got all the "Star Wars"-themed cereals to munch on thanks to General Mills' makeover of Honey Nut Cheerios, Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp, and Reese's Puffs. At least the cereals come with assorted "droid" prizes.
There are plenty more ancillary tie-ins where the above came from, and it's overwhelmingly clear that Disney — who did not respond to NBC News' request for comment — isn't holding back on licensing.
It appears that Disney is "trying to wring every cent they can from their $4 billion acquisition (of LucasFilm, which created the "Star Wars" franchise) and so are licensing their asset to anyone with money to spend," Philip Ryan, director at the brand strategy consulting firm Vivaldi Partners Group told NBC News.
This is a potentially risky move on Disney's part, some experts say.
"One would think any exposure is good exposure, but what Disney and others might worry about is over saturation," said Dan Hill, president of Ervin Hill Strategy, a communications and public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. "At some point when there are so many tie-ins, they all start to look like passive marketing for the movie; consequently, the brands become lost in the background."
Still, it's a tough opportunity to turn down for brands that are eager to associate themselves with an historical pop culture moment.