Is it a "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Character or an IKEA Product?

"The Force Awakens", IKEA and Supply Chain converge!

Supply Chain Furniture
The Force Awakens Ikea. Getty Images

Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  IKEA.  Supply chain.  What do: 1) the greatest cinematic event this side of the moon Pandora, 2) one of the world’s most ubiquitous retailers and 3) arguably the coolest business function going have in common? 

Well, if you’re talking about the relationship between IKEA and supply chain, it should be obvious.  When you’re delivering 12,000 different products to more than 350 stores in about four dozen countries, you’re going to need an optimized supply chain to keep things running.

 When your annual cost of goods sold runs in the $25 billion range, you’d better be optimizing your supply chain every day.

And when your purchasing department is buying more wood than any other retail purchasing department in the world, let’s just say that optimized supply chain should be your friend. 

After sweeping every award at the 2015 OSCA’sStar Wars: The Force Awakens earned a place as an icon in supply chain lore.  And overall, the Star Wars universe has demonstrated excellent supply chain record by consistently supplying its customers (us), what its customers want (more Jedi, less Jar-Jar) and maximizing its profitability along the way. 

But what then do Star Wars: The Force Awakens and IKEA have in common?  More than you think.  In fact, it might be difficult to distinguish between the two. 

Below is a list of either Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters or IKEA products.  How quickly can you identify which is which?

  Sure, you could use the Dark Side (I mean, the internet) to research your answers, but then you’d end up on the Sith end of this Jedi ranking:

Time to solve the quiz:

<20 seconds – Grand Master of the Jedi

21-30 seconds – Jedi Master

31-45 seconds – Jedi Knight

46-60 seconds – Padawan

>60 seconds – Poor Youngling, the Force is not strong in you











The answers are below.  Before you continue on, remember this is a supply chain blog.  You really should only be here if you want to optimize your cost of goods, improve your inventory control, learn strategic supplier relationship tools or understand the difference between a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and supply chain. And while pop culture, sports, parenting and fish & chips occasionally get typed about here, we are not experts. So, please, if through some rigorous fact checking exercise (like using Google) you discover an obscure Star Wars character that shares the name of a Swedish barstool, keep it to yourself.  I mean, you win.

Tabala – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  While you might think a Tabala would be the perfect addition to your dining room, Philicia Saunders would probably disagree, since she plays Tabala Zo in the movie.

Gunnabo – IKEA.  Not a weapon you’ll find in a Jakku junkyard.  But you can get a lovely 4 in. by 6 in. picture frame for $2.99. 

Hux – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  That’s General Hux to you.

Rens – IKEA.  A $30 sheepskin.  Just slightly more cuddly than a singular Ren, especially the Kylo variety.


Testor – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Jessica Henwick of Game Of Thrones plays Jess Testor, according to IMDB. 

Pirjo – IKEA.  You can buy this fabric for $4.99 per yard, or half a ration on Jakku.   

Tekla – IKEA.  A seventy-nine cent red and white dishtowel.  Presumably, the red isn’t the blood of Lor San Tekka, who Kylo Ren disposed of on Jakku. 

Ematt – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Major Ematt is an officer loyal to General Organa. 

Korken – IKEA.  This lidded jar (as opposed to Jar-Jar) will keep your Wookie snacks fresh.

Resdox – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  IMDB tells me that Jim McGrath plays Vice Admiral Resdox, but I may have to make a special trip back to the cinema to see if I can spot him.  Feels like a good enough excuse to watch the best supply chain movie of the year again.