In honor of 2018's edition of Star Wars Day (and just so I don't forget, May the 4th be with you!), Bleeding Cool wants to remind you that television's had a love affair with legendary sci-fi franchise for years — but we don't play around with the "standards" or clichés around here, people!
Sure, we could talk about Rebels and Clone Wars and, yes, even 1978's (in)famous Star Wars Holiday Special (insert appropriate Dave Chapelle/Rick James line here), but it's all been done before. This time, our investigative teeth are biting a little deeper — past the Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, Robot Chicken, and Friends references — to give you some interestingly obscure references that might've flown past you faster than the Millennium Falcon at hyperdrive (proud of that one):
The A-Team (s02 – 'It's a Desert Out There'): Team leader John "Hannibal" Smith (George Peppard) references a desert gang member who's dressed all in black (including helmet) as "Darth."
Angel (s01 – 'Sense and Sensibility'): For Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), it's about getting Angel (David Boreanaz) to ask them about their day:
"No! I don't care what horrible thing is about to happen—asteroids are hurtling towards Earth, unspeakable evil is rising in the San Fernando Valley, Jar Jar is getting his own talk show, whatever —I don't want to hear about it. Not 'til you ask us how it went."
Breaking Bad (s03 – 'Kafkaesque'): Jesse (Aaron Paul) weighs the stress that comes with balancing a life of crime with a life of responsibility, to which his lackey Badger (Matthew Lee Jones) responds: "Darth Vader had responsibilities. He was responsible for the Death Star."
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (s07 – 'Potential'): When Andrew (Tom Lenk) tries to explain to Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) about her legacy, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) interrupts with, "Say 'Skywalker' and I'll smack you." Later in the same scene, after Andrew attempts to connect Dawn's new found Slayer potential to womanhood as a whole, Xander steps in again to offer his two cents: "I'll pay you to talk about Star Wars again."
Cheers (s06 – 'Tale of Two Cuties'): Angered that he had the ending to the book he was ready spoiled for him, Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) retaliates by revealing to the rest of the bar that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father. But leave it to Woody (Woody Harrelson) to apply his own "educated skepticism" to the news: "You know, Darth Vader can't be Luke Skywalker's father. They don't have the same last name."
Dexter's Laboratory (s02 – 'The Muffin King'): Dexter and his father engage in a very Sith-like battle for control over the Dexter's mind — but more importantly, control over the muffins: DD: "Dexter… I am your father!" / D: "That is not possible! Oh, wait… No, you're right." / DD: "So join me, come to the muffin side. Don't resist Dexter, it is your destiny," and then controls him to make him get the muffins.
The Magic School Bus (s01 – : 'Inside Ralphie'): Ralphie's sick, so Ms. Frizzle begins explaining to everyone what's going on in his body as he tries to get better. As she's explaining, the spaceships on Ralphie's pajamas spring to life, and a series of TIE Advanced x1's wage an attack on one of the normal spaceships.
Married… with Children (s05 – : 'Married… With Aliens'): At the end of the episode, a credit scroll (painfully similar to the one used in Star Wars) announces how Al Bundy (Ed O'Neil) saved Earth and a hundred other planets from destruction by a comet as his socks were used as fuel for the alien ships to push the comet away.
Moonlighting (s02 – : 'Funeral For a Door Nail'): David Addison (Bruce Willis) and a "bad guy" lawyer go the discount lightsaber route, battling with red and blue brooms (told you) while the Star Wars theme plays.
Parks and Recreation (s05 – : 'Article Two'): Garth (Patton Oswalt) attempts to stop against Leslie Knope's (Amy Poehler) efforts to remove outdated Pawnee laws by reciting an eight-minute-long Star Wars filibuster.
Quantum Leap (s02 – : 'Jimmy'): Sam (Scott Bakula) recites the opening crawl from Star Wars.
Roseanne (s02 – 'House of Grown-Ups'): Dan (John Goodman) promises DJ (Michael Fishman) that he will rent Star Wars; while later in the episode, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) tells Dan "May the Force be with you."
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (s02 – 'Triceraton Wars'): In the middle of the episode's action, Michelangelo and Raphael quote Han's and Luke's in-battle lines from Star Wars.
Torchwood (s02 – : 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang'): Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) receives a holographic message from John Hart (James Marsters), ending the message to his past lover and "friend" with the familiar-sounding, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."
Will & Grace (s01 – : 'The Unsinkable Mommy Adler') In an effort to get to the bottom of C3PO and R2D2's true sexuality (yes, you read that right), Jack (Sean Hayes) rents Star Wars for Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace to (Debra Messing) to watch: Will: "C3PO isn't gay, he's British!" / Jack: "'R2, R2, my circuits yearn for you!' Big space queen."
Special thanks to our friends over at Star Wars Fanpedia; and to the internet for being awesome with obscure info.