May the Fourth Be With You: TV's Best Star Wars Moments (Let's Hear Yours!)

By Tim Surette

May 02, 2014

If dead presidents and flags can have their own holidays, then surely the greatest space opera of all time deserves its own celebratory 24 hours. And that's how, with the help of some lispy synergy, the unofficial Star Wars holiday May the Fourth was born. And this year, two different shows are paying tribute to the George Lucas classic with special Star Wars-themed episodes. On Thursday, The Big Bang Theory successfully used the Force in "The Proton Transmogrification," and this coming Tuesday, May the Thixth, The Goldbergs (which has already paid homage to Tron and The Goonies) will travel to a galaxy far, far away. 

But The Big Bang Theory and The Goldbergs obviously aren't the first TV series to geek out over Star Wars, so we've compiled a list of some of the best homages this side of Tatooine. Take a look, then add your own favorites in the comments!

The Star Wars Holiday Special 

No list of anything having to do with Star Wars is complete without a mention of this inexplicable1978 one-off that should've destroyed the franchise forever. 

Arrested Development 

George Michael's dirty little secret was his affinity for reenacting Star Wars lightsaber duels, and the Fox comedy took inspiration from a viral video that destroyed some kid's life for this tribute.

Family Guy

Family Guy did three Star Wars sendups, an hour-long episode that served as the Season 6 premiere and two more straight-to-DVD collections of Stormtroopers being idiots. 

Robot Chicken

Seth Green and Matthew Senreich's claymation blender of pop culture was the perfect avenue for Star Wars parodies, and the Adult Swim series churned out a trio of Star Wars-themed episodes. 

The Muppet Show

If someone floated the idea today, a collision of the Muppets and Star Wars universes wouldn't be a surprise, as Disney now owns both properties (you will be property of Disney someday, too). But in 1980, they were just two cool things that decided to partner up for some fun. Gonzo Vader is one of the greatest things to happen ever. 


Before Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright faced zombies, became cops, or battled aliens, they had a little show called Spaced that went on to become a cult hit on both sides of the Atlantic. (If you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing and watch it right now.) A geek's dream, the sitcom referenced more pop culture than a Death Star trash compactor full of Entertainment Weekly mags, and Star Wars was a frequent target. 

30 Rock

Liz Lemon loved Princess Leia's buns so much that she wore them twice during the Emmy mainstay's run: once for jury duty, and once for her own wedding. The Leia costume was the only white dress she had!


Given the show's firm entrenchment in pop culture, it's surprising that Community didn't make MORE Star Wars nods. But the NBC comedy did give us the opening to "For a Few Paintballs More" and Abed's takedown of the prequels, as well as Abed pretending to be Han Solo and melting Annie.

Parks and Recreation

Patton Oswalt's unedited Star Wars filibuster should be archived in the Smithsonian for all future generations to worship as the pinnacle of man's accomplishments.  

What are your favorite Star Wars TV moments? 

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  • AgeRomance_com May 04, 2014

    Hey,who cares!!! My boyfriend thinks the same with me. He is eight years older than me, lol. We met online at** [Ageromance(C 0 /M)]** nice and free place for younger women and older men, or older women and younger men, to interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

  • mazie2 May 04, 2014

    Spaced above all else.

    I seriously cannot recommend this show enough to people. I'm excited for those who haven't yet seen it. Treat yourself and grab the dvds. There's a subtitle setting called the "homage-o-meter" to help you catch every tiny subtle reference. So many!

  • kcee May 04, 2014

    Spaced was awesome! Didn't know about the homage-o-meter tho. will have to dig out my dvds of it!

  • Muderboy May 03, 2014

    Also the truly great Empire Strikes Back scene from the WB's wonderful one season wonder, Do Over. The kids are in line to see the movie and bullies jump the line and a fight ensues, and our heroes lose. So Joel gets even by revealing the big twist that Darth Vader is Luke's father, as the kids walk away with a smile.

  • Muderboy May 03, 2014

    Sorry I couldn't put up a link for this, I have all the episodes, so I have this one too, but it's just too much trouble to edit and post.

  • Muderboy May 03, 2014

    Under the heading of "I was there in 1977." I had a friend from the bay area down for a couple days in the summer of 7'7, and he brought his new girlfriend to show off a bit. The second night they asked us to go see the new Star Wars film, but I'd seen the lines and didn't want to stand in them for what I thought was just another space opera flick. When they got back they couldn't stop raving, so my interest was piqued. My wife and I decided to go the next night and my friend and his girlfriend wanted to come along, saying they wanted to be there just to witness my reaction. When the music began I watched the rolling "long time ago," scroll down and thought maybe this movie was more than I thought it would be. But when the rebel ship came out of the upper right corner followed the that Imperial destroyer, it blew me away for all time. I went back seven times and it never got old...

  • pabloibarra316 May 03, 2014

  • ionee24 May 03, 2014

    That would be Losy's Hurley wants to re-write Empire Strikes back

    That's "the New Jacob" of the island for you!

  • ionee24 May 03, 2014

    Which reminds me the "Jacob is worse than Yoda" one...

  • ElRob May 03, 2014

    I watched TBBT's "fourth" episode last night and thought is was terrible, probably the weakest offering the show's ever made. Total disappointment, I don't know if I'm more embarrassed for their writers or for Bob Newhart.

  • pierresund May 03, 2014

    What the Hutt? No love for Friends' "The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy"?!?

  • No1Slayerette May 03, 2014

    I've found both Family Guy and Robot Chicken's extended parodies of the Star Wars films to be pretty hit and miss, but majority of the time during the two respective shows they do okay. I think has to be my favorite part from the Family Guy version:

  • No1Slayerette May 03, 2014

    That filibuster by Oswald was a masterpiece.

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