Star Wars fans are known for taking their obsessions to absolutely ridiculous levels. Sometimes, that means buying an unnecessary rug. Other times it’s much less practical, like buying a novelty waffle maker for no good reason whatsoever.
A few weeks back, several friends brought to my attention that a Han Solo in Carbonite waffle maker was now on the market featuring the iconic imagery from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I’m a well-known Han Solo in Carbonite obsessive (see exhibits A and B) so I appreciated the heads up, which I immediately turned into a purchase. The item retails for around $42 and, while available in other places, is actually an FYE exclusive in the U.S.. (Side note: when I ordered it was $56. Bastards. Second note: A friend of mine also bought me the waffle maker but was going to save it for Christmas. I thwarted that plan by buying it for myself.)
While some fans keep Star Wars merchandise in its package for later collectible value, this is a Han Solo in Carbonite waffle maker. You don’t keep it in the package like some limited edition toy. You take it out and make fucking waffles. Which I did.
It didn’t go particularly well, at least at the start.
The first thing to know here is I’m not a proficient waffle maker. I’ve made Eggos in the toaster and Belgium waffles at a hotel buffet with detailed instructions, but that’s about it. It’s not a difficult process but it does take a bit of finesse, something I did not have on attempt one.
First, you make the batter, which is easy as long as you have some pancake mix and basic kitchen items: oil, milk, eggs, all depending on the specific recipe. That’s no problem. Next, you plug in the waffle maker and wait until the green light turns on indicating it’s ready. Also no problem. Finally, the instructions say to spread about a 3/4 to a full cup of batter across the plates. Which I did. However, as you can see, it did not adequately fill all the space.
What do I know though? That’s what the instructions said. Maybe the waffle maker did something to make this work how it’s meant to. So I went for it, closed the lid, and waited a few minutes. The result, well…
“Uninspired” is too kind a word. “Absolutely terrible” is more like it. Not only can you not see Han, it’s not even a full waffle. It’s a waffle french fry, at best (or maybe the floor to Jabba’s palace). Obviously, I’d need more batter. Unfortunately, I was a little undersupplied on try one and I’d used most of my batter already. I’d have to wait to try again.
One week, and a masked trip to the grocery store later, I was ready for round two. This time, I filled that waffle maker with so much batter it was pouring out of the sides. Not one cup, more like one and a half or two. No mistakes this time, dammit. I was going to see Han.
The result? Perfection! I’d made Han Solo in Carbonite Waffles.
As you can see, the definition is rather good. The tilt of the head, grip of the fingers, even the tip of the toes. It’s all there. No, you can’t tell it’s Harrison Ford, but it’s unmistakably Han Solo in Carbonite and, for a waffle, that’s impressive.
Here’s the problem though. I used well over half the batter I’d made so the second batch, while still waffley, weren’t quite Han Solo.
In the end, I’d say the Han Solo in Carbonite waffle making experience was a mixed bag. Yes, it works, but the instructions are not adequate and many non-Han waffles died to bring us a good one. But that good one? I ate the crap out of it.