You remember Star Wars? You’ve probably heard of it at some point.
Anyway there was this one Star Wars movie where this guy, we’ll call him Admiral Ackbar, is taking part in an
attack on the Empire. It’s a big deal attack, right? Like, tons of rebel guys all gathered up together and said ‘let’s do this’ and so it’s not just some little skirmish.
Anyway Ackbar is on this ship and he has a famous line where he’s in a swivel chair and he swivels around and you see his big, crazy eyes and he yells out ‘It’s a TRAP!’
Big scene. BIG. Scene.
Return of the Jedi was released in 1983, and some companies had managed to get tipped off to some of the plot points in the movie. They were approaching George Lucas left and right, trying to get commercial tie-ins to get in on the burgeoning Star Wars cash cow.
One of the companies that did manage to get through was an outdoor equipment company. They were supposedly THE favorite flannel shirt maker that George Lucas liked. George, loving the idea of some custom flannel shirts from them, created a series of commercials. They did not end up making it to air because the cost was too high … But I can tell you the contents of one of them.
A family is out in the woods, they’ve got two tents set up, a well-built fireplace, a couple of chairs set up, and everyone looks so cozy and happy. Just then, a few rain drops fall. The kids begin to whine about getting wet, the mom worries aloud about cooking dinner without a fire, and the dad looks to the camera and thinks outloud, ‘is there anything we could use to help make the rain less damaging to our camping trip?’
Suddenly Ackbar HIMSELF appears! He descends into the campground on a floating swivel chair and shouts out, ‘It’s a TARP!’