The fandom of Star Wars is almost inescapable. You can find references to Star Wars in dozens of television shows because the love for the sci-fi saga is practically universal. Everyone understands what you mean when you compare someone to Obi-Wan Kenobi or Darth Vader. Even if you make a reference to an obscure Star Wars character, a lot of people will still pick up on it because the franchise is so well known. So what are some of the best references made to the iconic franchise on television?
Not only do many TV shows regularly include references to the series throughout their seasons, some shows have even devoted entire episodes to the Star Wars theme. Sometimes this has led to some of our favorite TV show characters dressing up as Han or Leia. Other times, shows have shown fictional characters working out their troubles by putting them in the Star Wars universe. So which references would any fan of the space opera love? Here are 11 of the best TV show references to Star Wars.
11. The Venture Bros.
In “Love Bheits,” Baron Underbheit returns to get his revenge on Dr. Venture. He captures Dean who is hilariously dressed as Princess Leia and tries to marry him. The rest of the group also dresses up as the iconic characters — Brock is Chewbacca, and Doctor Venture is Obi-Wan Kenobi — and they go to save Dean from the villain.
The musical show was known for paying homages to music legends, but it strayed to also give a nod to the movie franchise. In “Extraordinary Merry Christmas,” the cast mashes up The Star Wars Holiday Special and The Judy Garland Christmas Special. What’s with the weird mix? Artie is very much of a fan of the movie series so he pushed to have it included. In the black-and-white episode we get Puck as Han Solo and Finn as Luke along with other famous characters from the franchise.
9. Robot Chicken
The Adult Swim show is no stranger to doing Star Wars references — it’s even done a sketch of a phone call where Darth Vader tells the Emperor that the Death Star is blown up. But the best one is in “Robot Chicken: Star Wars,” where there is a “Yo Momma” fight between the Emperor and Luke. The trash talking has priceless references to the series, and Darth Vader happens to be Team Luke for the battle.
J.D. is prone to having daydreams, so it was only a matter of time for him to have one involving Star Wars. In the episode “My Two Dads,” Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox are fighting over J.D.’s trust. When J.D. watches them go at it he imagines Dr. Cox as as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Dr. Kelso as Darth Vader fighting with lightsabers. We then see the rest of the group as various characters from the movie.
7. Arrested Development
How do Buster and George-Michael spend their spare time? We got the answer in an episode where the family is watching a home video. It gets interrupted by footage of George-Michael reenacting a battle from Star Wars by himself in his garage. This is not only a reference to a movie, but a viral video of a kid who did the exact same thing. We see that Buster has done his own reenactment from the movie as well along with an ode to Chicago.
6. How I Met Your Mother
Ted, Marshall, and Barney are all die hard fans of the movies. So it makes sense that they would make a tradition surrounding it. In the episode “Trilogy Time,” they get together to watch the trilogy, which they do every three years. They try to predict what their lives will be like in another three years. Although we get some deep reflecting on Ted’s part, we get fun things like seeing Barney hooking up with a girl wearing his Stormtrooper costume.
In the episode appropriately called “The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy,” Rachel finds out Ross’s fantasy is one that many Star Wars fans have had: for his girlfriend to dress up in Princess Leia’s slave costume. Rachel was a little freaked out at first, but goes through with it. She messed up with the hairstyle, but neither Ross nor Jennifer Aniston lovers could complain.
4. Family Guy
The cartoon went all out by recreating the movies with three episodes, “Blue Harvest,” “Something, Something, Something Dark Side,” and “It’s a Trap!” Each time the family has a power outage and they begin telling each other stories. The best one is the first where the family takes on A New Hope. There are not only a bunch of references from the franchise, but it mashes it with references to other movies and television shows as well.
3. That ’70s Show
There are many references throughout the series, but, in the episode “A New Hope,” it’s relentless. It starts with similar scrolling font and fades to back in some scenes like the movie. Eric, Hyde, Fez and Kelso watch the movie in the theater. This leads to Eric having a dream of him and everyone he knows being in the Star Wars universe. Jackie and Fez happen to be stormtroopers trying to get everyone else to join the dark side.
2. South Park
In the episode “Obama Wins!” the President gets reelected with the help of Cartman who stole voter ballots for the Chinese government. What do they want in return? The rights to Star Wars, but they won’t let Cartman play Luke Skywalker so he finds another ally. Mickey Mouse gets into the mix and agrees to Cartman’s demands if he helps get Mitt Romney in office. We see Disney is now full of storm troopers, vehicles from the franchise, and more references.
1. 30 Rock
Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon is the ultimate Star Wars fan, so there are a number of references throughout the show. It even broke its own universe by having Carrie Fisher on to play someone else, but delivering the line, “Help me, Liz Lemon; you’re my only hope!” So what was reference that was able to top that? When the nerd dressed up as Princess Leia on her wedding day because it was the only white dress she owns, and she wanted to be a princess.
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