Clockwise from left: CBS/Getty Images; Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
Star Wars on the Small ScreenTo say Star Wars is a pop culture phenomenon would be an understatement. We look back at all the shows that paid their own tributes to Jedis, droids and a galaxy far, far away.
The Star Wars Holiday Special
Aired: Nov. 17, 1978, CBS
With two hours full of creepy Wookiees and head-scratching musical numbers, it’s no wonder the much-maligned celebration of Life Day on Chewie’s home planet of Kashyyyk aired only once. Not even a Sith Lord could take more of Bea Arthur’s singing or Harvey Korman in drag as a space-age Julia Child.
Mary Evans/LUCASFILM/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection
A New Hope (U.S. network TV debut)Aired: Feb. 26, 1984, CBS
Almost six years after opening in theaters, the original movie premiered on TV…and got trounced by ABC’s trashy miniseries Lace.
Twentieth Century Fox/Lucasfilm
Aired: Nov. 25, 1984, ABC
On the heels of Return of the Jedi came this spinoff flick about siblings (Eric Walker and Aubree Miller) rescued by Wicket the Ewok (Warwick Davis) after being stranded on the forest moon. A year later, Miller and Davis headlined the sequel, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.
Star Wars: Ewoks and Star Wars: Droids, the Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3POAired: Sept. 7, 1985, ABC
The cute and furry ones returned, along with Luke Skywalker’s favorite robots, this time as Saturday-morning cartoons. Ewoks was set before Return of the Jedi, and Droids took place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
￼Friends: “The One With the Princess Leia Fantasy”Aired: Sept. 19, 1996, NBC
Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel set the bar for thousands of Comic-Con cosplayers—and fulfilled even more fanboys’ dreams—when she donned the enslaved royal’s gold bikini for her Jedi-fetishist boyfriend, Ross (David Schwimmer).
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Star Wars: Clone Wars
Aired: 2003–05, Cartoon Network
Bridging the space between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, these shorts were animated in the conventional 2-D cartoon style. The more sophisticated, 3-D series Star Wars: The Clone Wars ran from 2008–14.
Robot Chicken Star WarsAired: June 17, 2007, Adult Swim
In the first of three specials, Seth Green and his stop-motion minions spoofed the films using action figures, some of which were more expressive than Hayden Christensen.
FAMILY GUY TM &© 2007 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Family Guy’s “Blue Harvest”Aired: Sept. 23, 2007, Fox
With permission from Lucasfilm (and a nod to Jedi’s fake working title), Peter Griffin retold A New Hope to the gang during a power outage. Episodes parodying Empire and Jedi aired in 2010 and 2011.
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
Today anchors dress as Star Wars charactersAired: Oct. 30, 2009, NBC
We’re pretty sure the morning show’s Halloween salute caused a great disturbance in the Force, thanks, in part, to Matt Lauer’s awful Luke Skywalker wig.
LEGO Star Wars Yoda Chronicles and Droid TalesAired: 2013, Cartoon Network; 2015, Disney XD
The minifigures struck back, first in a trio of animated specials about the diminutive Jedi master’s clashes with Darth Sidious and then in a five-part series featuring the metallic Laurel and Hardy’s comical accounts of the films and Rebels’ first season.
Phineas & Ferb: Star WarsAired: July 22, 2014, Disney Channel
Like Family Guy, this nod clowned on the events of A New Hope with the cartoon stepbrothers, their pet platypus, Perry, and other characters filling the roles made famous in the film. Oh, and there were musical numbers. May the Ferb be with us all.