One of the biggest forces of nature in The Big Bang Theory is coming from a galaxy far, far away.
Along with Star Trek, Star Wars is such a part of the CBS sitcom that it could very well be its very own character. Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj are all fans of the films from the very beginning, and they wear their geekery proudly on their sleeves, including for Star Wars.
There are so many references to Star Wars in The Big Bang Theory that a fan managed to create a 59-minute video with them all from the first eight seasons. That’s not including any from the current season, and once The Force Awakens is released, we’ll expect even more references to start finding their way into the script.
The references so far range in substance from the number of lightsabers on display (at least 10 instances, according to the AV Club), quoting lines and the attempted use of Jedi mind tricks, an impersonation from Wil Wheaton (who plays an exaggerated version of himself), a cake, and James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher both guest-starring in a season 7 episode. And Penny, who’s often ridiculed for not knowing certain aspects of nerd culture, usually guesses Star Wars whenever she’s asked a question.
But The Big Bang Theory, despite its popularity on TV, is often polarizing among geeks, and critics may be quick to dismiss the Star Wars references in the show. Luckily for them, The Big Bang Theory is far from the only TV show to homage Star Wars, and there are plenty of ways to get your Star Wars fill on TV.
1) 30 Rock
Liz Lemon tried to get out of jury duty by dressing and acting like Princess Leia, and although it fails spectacularly, we applaud her efforts (and her ability to pull off Leia’s signature hair buns).
What starts out as a spaghetti western switches gears to a Star Wars homage when Greendale is forced to take on City College in the midst of their biggest paintball competition to date. Abed Nadir, always keen for pop culture references, goes full Han Solo.
3) Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken has made so many Star Wars sketches that it’s managed to create four different specials out of the material, with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and Ahmed Best reprising their roles; George Lucas even once made an appearance as himself. Here are just a few of the efforts.
Futurama has a long history of referencing and paying homage to Star Wars, but Bender’s Game, a straight-to-DVD Futurama film, has a fight sequence that’s a reversed parody of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader’s duel in The Empire Strikes Back, and Into the Wild Green Yonder has its own version of the Force.
5) Parks and Recreation
6) The Office
Dwight Schrute made a great Sith Lord, even if nobody at Dunder Mifflin recognized him.