‘The Goldbergs’ & ‘The Big Bang Theory’ to Celebrate ‘Star Wars’ Day on the Small Screen

By April 3, 2014
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While there have been plenty of nerdy movie references on both the 1980-something set ABC comedy series “The Goldbergs” and the perpetually renewed CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” the two shows will share a common celebration as they both aim to deliver some hardcore nerdiness on Star Wars Day.

If you’re reading a site called GeekNation, you likely already know about Star Wars Day. But if you happened to stumble upon this article for some other crazy reason, Star Wars Day is May 4th. Why? Because May the Fourth be with you. Get it?

Now to the news portion of our story where THR reports “The Goldbergs” is teaming with Lucasfilm for their very own Star Wars-themed episode. The episode that will air on May 6th is called “A Wrestler Named Goldberg,” and while the title indicates there will likely be another non-Star Wars plotline, it will feature Adam (Sean Giambrone) and Erica (Hayley Orrantia) standing in line to see Return of the Jedi, and coming into contact with some elaborately costumed Star Wars fans, including one played by “Reno 911” star and comedian Thomas Lennon.

Lucasfilm will help promote the episode, and it only makes sense since ABC is under the Disney banner, and that’s the new home of Star Wars. But before you think that this is just synergy where a company from The House of Mouse is getting some Star Wars love, fans of “The Big Bang Theory” will be happy to hear they’re getting a Star Wars Day episode too.

Big Bang Theory - Star Wars episode

Another report from THR (who provided the photo above) indicates that Lucasfilm is going all out for an entire episode of the popular CBS sitcom. The episode is called “The Proton Transmogrification” and finds the whole gang celebrating the nerdy holiday. During the episode, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) will be guided by visions of his childhood idol and mentor, Professor Proton (special guest star Bob Newhart), who appears to the socially challenged genius as his own Jedi master.

But it’s not just the storyline that makes this a Star Wars episode. The series had help from special effects technicians at Industrial Light & Magic to re-create the swamp planet Dagobah from The Empire Strikes Back, where Jedi master Yoda resided and trained Luke Skywalker. Several props were also provided, including a lightsaber.

Big Bang Theory - Bob Newhart

Newhart will also be appearing as an iconic Star Wars character, and while the trade says that details is under wraps, if we’re on Dagobah, and Newhart is Sheldon’s childhood mentor and idol, it’s safe to say that he’ll be appearing as Yoda.

Showrunner Steve Molaro said, “Chuck and I called Bob and let him know what we were thinking about. We had to give him a quick primer on the Star Wars mythology … he picked it up pretty quickly and was very excited about it.” And since Newhart is a funny guy, he said, “I talked to Chuck, Steve and [co-creator/EP] Bill [Prady] about it and they gave me the Phantom Menace so I knew what [Dagobah] would look like.” Nailed it.

The Star Wars episode of “The Big Bang Theory” will air on May 1st, before the holiday.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.