In honor of Star Wars day, we present our personal favorite obscure supplementary material to the original Star Wars trilogy: The Star Wars episode of The Muppet Show, featuring Mark Hamil, Anthony Daniels, and presumably Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew. (Parts 2 and 3 below)
Episode 417 was produced after A New Hope, and before The Empire Strikes Back was released. Getting the costumes over to the stage where The Muppet Show was relatively simple, since the show was filmed down the street from Elstree Studios in England. One has to assume that a lot of the Hollywood contacts that enabled this mashup were formed when Frank Oz joined the cast of Empire as Yoda.
Since production on Empire had started, it’s interesting to note that this is the first time anyone ever saw Luke Skywalker in that costume (hence all the jokes about his tailor). Also, the jokes about the true identity of Dearth Nadir, since nobody actually knew at that point how significant Darth Vader’s identity truly was.
Also, this episode is the reason why I thought for many years that Mark Hamil had an equally talented identical twin. Because obviously the Muppets never used camera tricks, ever.
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