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Photo first used for the cover of the Summer 1983 issue of Muppet Magazine, and repurposed many times since.

Starwars

The Muppet Show episode 417.

SS-1364-S2

Sesame Street Episode 1364.

Mgmstarwars

Gonzo looks at an X-wing in The Muppets Go to the Movies.

Yoda.muppets

Miss Piggy and Kermit on the set of The Empire Strikes Back with Yoda and Mark Hamill.

Muppet Diary 1980 - posters

Muppet Diary 1980

Mb-sw-cast01

Muppet Babies, "Gonzo's Video Show."

Startours

Miss Piggy and Beauregard in front of Star Tours in The Muppets at Walt Disney World.

Robin-starchores

Robin's room is decorated with a "Star Chores" poster in Yes, I Can.

Droidbird

C-3PO and R2-D2 with Big Bird on Sesame Street.

DieMuppetBabies-ComicSuperAlbum01-(Bastei-1986-87)-Seite30

Muppet Babies - The Big Space Adventure

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Muppet Babies - The Big Space Adventure

Vader-Labyrinth

During filming for Labyrinth, Darth Vader stopped by the set to wish the crew good luck.

Nightatthemuseum

Darth Vader appearing with Oscar the Grouch in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.

StarWarsTales14

Super Grover and Kermit in Star Wars Tales #14.

6thgradevader

Gonzo as Darth Vader in Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet.

Elmo & Cookie Monster Do Star Wars

Elmo & Cookie Monster Do Star Wars

Elmo & Cookie Monster Do Star Wars on Australian radio show Fifi and Jules.

StarWorms

One of the opening text crawls used in the "Slimey to the Moon" episode reruns.

DarthChicken

Darth Chicken from "Pizza the Musical."

StarWars-SpeederbikeSweetums

The theme park walk-around version of Sweetums on a speeder bike in the Endor setting outside of Star Tours in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

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A scene from the "Star S'Mores" featuring Flan Solo (Cookie Monster) and Groda (Grover).

EineMöhreFürZwei-DerVerkleidungswettbewerb-(2016)-DarthVaderFinchen

German Sesame character Finchen dresses up as Darth Vader on a 2016 episode of Eine Möhre für Zwei.

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Darth Vader brings the cake on Muppet Babies.

Star Wars is a science fiction franchise beginning in 1977 that consists of movies, TV shows, books, comic books, and a wealth of merchandise and other spin-offs. There are many connections between Star Wars and The Muppets, perhaps most notably the presence of Frank Oz's Star Wars character Yoda, who has often been misidentified as a Muppet. The properties are both owned by The Walt Disney Company; The Muppets were purchased in 2004, and Star Wars in 2012.

In 1999, Star Wars Insider noted, "There seemed to be a kind of natural synergy between Star Wars and the Muppets almost immediately," to which Frank Oz replied:

I think that's true. Certainly, they both had the vitality and purity and joy and dreaming, and there's certainly geniuses behind both of them. George and Jim worked together on Labyrinth, and I think that which got them together was that synergy. There was an awareness and an appreciation. They are both very unique individuals, and I think they both wanted to work with each other, because they were very similar - very smart, very quiet, very strong people.[1]

This article chronicles general appearances, crossovers, and parodies between the two franchises. For more details see our articles for Yoda, Dearth Nadir, C-3PO and R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and George Lucas.

Guests

References

The Muppets

  • In addition to other obvious references, episode 417 also features some Star Wars memorabilia in Scooter's bedroom during "Six String Orchestra." His bedroom wall is decorated with a photo of Luke Skywalker and a poster of a Star Destroyer.
  • A photo of the backstage bulletin board on the back of The Muppet Show 2 LP features a paper cut-out of a stormtrooper from Star Wars.
  • In 1980, ITC Distribution France released a poster print (and later, postcards) of the Muppet characters in a Star Wars spoof titled, "La Guerre des Muppets" (Muppet Wars). The scene is a take on the "Style A" theatrical one-sheet for the 1977 film with Kermit as Luke Skywalker, Miss Piggy as Princess Leia, Gonzo as Darth Vader, Fozzie Bear as C-3PO and Lew Zealand as R2-D2.
  • Appearing on The Big Breakfast in 1996, Piggy claims she's going to be the next Chewbacca in the new Star Wars movies.
  • In the 1999 film Muppets from Space, the Cosmic Fish bid farewell to Gonzo saying "May the Fish be with you," a reference to Star Wars' famous line, "May the Force be with you."
  • At the beginning of the commentary track for Muppets from Space, Kermit leaves to get popcorn and doesn't return until the end of the movie (Steve Whitmire plays Rizzo throughout the majority of the commentary track). Upon his return, he explains that he went back into the wrong movie. "I was halfway through it before I realized that wasn't Gonzo. It was Jar Jar Binks!"
  • For the July 2008 Star Wars Weekends in Walt Disney World, a set of six PVC figures were released featuring the Muppets as Star Wars characters.

Sesame Street

  • In the computer game Ernie's Adventures in Space, Ernie visits Count von Count in "Cloud Castle City" (in reference to a location from The Empire Strikes Back). Later, he and Bert hum along to the closing credit score. At one point, Ernie starts humming the "Imperial March."
  • When the "Slimey to the Moon" episodes were rerun during the end of 1999, they were billed as "STAR WORMS" and open with a text crawl (narrated by Baby Bear) based on the ones that open each Star Wars film.
  • In Sesame Street Episode 4234, Virgil von Vivaldi presents a limestone rock with a lute for his "rock" band. He tells the rock: "Use the force, lute."
  • In the "Super Grover 2.0" sketch "The Cart Before the Horse," Super Grover 2.0 tries to find a force big enough to move a cart with a horse in it. During the sketch, he uses many lines from Star Wars involving "The Force," such as, "The force is strong in this one" and "Use the force."
  • In the Once Upon a Monster level "Seamus the Brave," the monsters put on a play by Seamus called The Emperor's New Clothes 2: The Emperor Talks Back.
  • In the "Elmo the Musical" segment, "Pizza the Musical," Elmo is confronted by a space chicken (referred to at New York Comic-Con as "Darth Chicken," played there by John Tartaglia), who wears a Darth Vader-esque outfit and pilots an egg-shaped Death Star. In the online game version of the segment, Elmo encounters a different space chickens operating toll booths. The chicken dons different disguises, including a Darth Vader outfit, a Stormtrooper uniform and Boba Fett.
  • In Sesame Street Episode 4504, Leela dresses as her favorite number heroine, Princess Three-ah.

International Sesame Street

Muppet Babies

  • One version of the opening title used footage of Darth Vader's TIE fighter in space from Episode IV: A New Hope;[3] another version of the opening title featured footage of a Star Destroyer in space also from A New Hope.[4]
  • Nanny Vader is one of several babysitters the babies imagine will take care of them when Nanny goes away in "Around the Nursery in 80 Days." Using footage from the Star Wars movies, Nanny Vader recruits the babies as stormtroopers aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer where they receive training in how to wield a lightsabre. Outside of their imaginations, it's revealed that Baby Animal has been standing in for Nanny Vader wearing a Darth Vader helmet.
  • In "Happy Birthday, Uncle Piggy," footage of Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back is used on Baby Scooter and Skeeter's spaceship, instructing the babies to buckle their seatbelts. He then appears in animated form, delivering birthday cake.

Muppet Mentions

  • The comic book Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse issue #1, features a Muppet Labs homage in the form of an Imperial scientist resembling Bunsen named Royd Pew and his assistant Bleeker, who make a failed demonstration of a set of wingpacks.
  • A behind-the-scenes mention is also relevant to the discussion of creating a romantically realistic fight choreography sequence in the documentary From Puppets to Pixels. See Yoda for more.
  • In the 2009 Star Wars reference book The Essential Atlas, Planet Koozebane is identified as a planet in the Star Wars galaxy. Koozebane had previously been mentioned in passing in 1996 and 2001 issues of the Star Wars Insider magazine.
  • The 2010 book Star Wars Art: Visions includes a commissioned piece of art by Peter de Sève called "Easy being green, it is not." The piece depicts Kermit fishing in a swamp, sitting next to Yoda. [1]
  • The 90-minute feature Star Wars Spoofs released on the 2011 Star Wars Blu-ray collection includes a clip from The Muppet Show episode 417 with Mark Hamill and the crew of the Swinetrek (from Piggy's appearance as Princess Leia to Gonzo's introduction as Dearth Nadir). A clip from Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian featuring Oscar the Grouch's complete cameo alongside Darth Vader is also featured.

Merchandise

Connections

In addition to Frank Oz and the aforementioned guests, many puppeteers, designers, and actors have worked in the Star Wars franchise as well as in Muppet/Henson productions.

  • Vincent Abbott was a senior SFX technician on The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Edward Asner played Jabba the Hutt in the NPR radio dramatization of The Return of the Jedi (1996)
  • Donald Austen assisted on Yoda in The Phantom Menace (1999) and puppeteered creatures and droids on The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Kenny Baker played R2-D2 in the first six films, and consulted on the seventh
  • Dee Bradley Baker voiced the Clone Troopers, Captain Rex, Cody and others in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, voiced Kassius Konstantine, Rex, Wollfe, Gregor, and others in Star Wars: Rebels, voiced Ilco Munica in The Force Awakens (2015), and provided voices in multiple Star Wars video games.
  • David Alan Barclay assisted in the building and performance of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and puppeteered Jabba the Hutt (mouth and arm) in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Chris Barton worked as a designer on The Phantom Menace (1999) and Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Bob Bergen voiced Luke Skywalker in several LucasArts video games
  • Ailsa Berk played Amanaman in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Danny Blackner played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • David Bowers played Mas Amedda in Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster played a First Order officer in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Paul Brooke played the Rancor keeper in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Lynne Robertson Bruce puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Simon Buckley puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Julianne Buescher voiced Rianna in Star Wars: Lethal Alliance and Aaron Azzameen in Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance games
  • Dan Burnett was an animatronic designer on The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Eugene Byrd played additional voices in The Force Awakens (2015) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Art Carney played Saun Dann in The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
  • Diahann Carroll played Mermeia Holographic Wow in The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
  • Dave Chapman performed BB-8 in The Force Awakens (2015) and creatures and droids in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Alyson Court played Malani and Baby Nippet in the animated series Ewoks (1985)
  • Oliver Ford Davies played Governor Sio Bibble in the prequel trilogy (1999-2005)
  • Warwick Davis played Wicket Warrick in Return of the Jedi (1983) and the Ewok spin-off films, Wald and Weasel in The Phantom Menace (1999), Wollivan in The Force Awakens (2015), and Weeteef Cyubee in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Jonathan Dixon played additional voices in The Force Awakens (2015) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Malcolm Dixon played an Ewok warrior in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Lindsay Duncan played the voice of TC-14 in The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • David Dunsterville was a senior SFX technician on The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Mike Edmonds played Logray and puppeteered Jabba the Hutt's tail in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Dave Elsey was the creatures supervisor for Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • David Forman performed stunts in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Peter Friedman played Dak in the radio version of The Empire Strikes Back (1983)
  • Myra Fried played Hoona in Ewoks (1985).
  • Stuart Freeborn served as make-up/creature supervisor on the original trilogy, and designed Yoda, Chewbacca, Jabba the Hutt, and others.
  • Wendy Froud sculpted Yoda for The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Judah Friedlander played a bar patron in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Brian Gascoigne played synthesizer for the original trilogy
  • Donald Glover played Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Ron Howard directed Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar played Seventh Sister in Star Wars Rebels (2015)
  • Adrian Getley was supervising modeler on The Force Awakens (2015) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Michael Giacchino scored the pre-show and queue music for the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride, played stormtrooper FN-3181 in The Force Awakens (2015), and scored and supplied additional voices in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Michael Gilden played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Nick Gillard was a stunt performer on Return of the Jedi (1983), stunt coordinator and swordmaster for all three prequels (1999-2005), and made a cameo as Jedi Master Cin Drallig in Revenge of the Sith (2005).
  • David Greenaway assisted on Yoda in Phantom Menace (1999)
  • David Alan Grier played various roles in the NPR radio versions of Star Wars (1981) and The Empire Strikes Back (1983)
  • Bill Hader served as a vocal consultant for BB-8 in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Andy Heath puppeteered creatures and droids on The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Brian Herring performed BB-8 in The Force Awakens (2015) and puppeteered creatures and droids in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • William Hootkins played Jek Porkins in A New Hope (1977)
  • Russell Horton played 2-1B in the NPR radio version of The Empire Strikes Back (1983)
  • Samuel L. Jackson played Mace Windu in the prequel trilogy (1999-2005)
  • Matthew Jacobs wrote the video game Star Wars: Starfighter (2002)
  • Ron James voiced Mring Mring the Gupin on Ewoks (1985)
  • Allison Janney voices Aly San San in the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride
  • Mark Jefferis puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader in the first three films, Revenge of the Sith (2005), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' (2016), and in the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride and Rebels TV series.
  • Tom Kane voices Yoda, Admiral Wulff, and the narrator on Star Wars The Clone Wars, voiced Admiral Ackbar in the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride, and provided additional voices (including a Hosnian and a control room technician) in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Harvey Korman played Krelman, Chef Gormaanda, and Amorphian instructor in The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
  • John Lithgow played Yoda in the NPR audio dramas of Return of the Jedi (1983) and The Empire Strikes Back (1996)
  • Diego Luna played Cassian Andor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Christopher Malcolm played Zev (Rogue 2) in The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Peter Mandell played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Sam McMurray played various roles in the NPR radio drama of The Empire Strikes Back (1983)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a song for The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Ben Mendelsohn played Orson Krennic in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Esteban Mendoza puppeteered creatures and droids in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Kathryn Mullen assisted with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Rebecca Nagan puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Liam Neeson played Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Lupita Nyong'o played Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Rena Owen played Taun We in Attack of the Clones (2002) and Nee Alavar in Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Adrian Parish was a key animatronic designer on The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Eric Peterson played Teebo in Ewoks (1985) and Old Ogger in Droids (1985)
  • Toby Philpott puppeteered Jabba the Hutt's head, body, and tongue in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Natalie Portman played Padmé Amidala in the prequel trilogy (1999-2005)
  • Colin Purves puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Jack Purvis played a Jawa in A New Hope (1977), Chief Ugnaught in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Teebo in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Wayne Pygram played Governor Tarkin in Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Hugh Quarshie played Captain Panaka in The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Mike Quinn puppeteered Nien Nunb and others in Return of the Jedi (1983), served as a CG character animator on Attack of the Clones (2002), and reprised Nien Nunb in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Paul Reubens voiced RX-24 (Captain Rex) in the Star Tours ride and in the queue of the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride (archival audio from the original Star Tours)
  • Tim Rose played Admiral Ackbar, Salacious Crumb and others in Return of the Jedi (1983), reprised Admiral Ackbar in The Force Awakens (2015), and puppeteered creatures and droids in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Neal Scanlan supplied special creature effects in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Peter Serafinowicz voiced Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Kiran Shah played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi (1983), Teedo in The Force Awakens (2015), and puppeteered creatures and droids in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Katherine Smee assisted on Yoda in The Phantom Menace (1999) and (billed as Kat Smee) puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Jimmy Smits played Senator Bail Organa in Attack of the Clones (2002), Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Rogue One (2016)
  • Neil Sterenberg puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • John Stocker played Widdle and others in Ewoks and various villains in Droids (both 1985)
  • Cree Summer played Princess Kneesaa in Ewoks (1985) and Luminara Unduli in the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars (2004)
  • George Takei voiced Lok Durd in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
  • Olly Taylor puppeteered creatures and droids in The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Reg Thomason played a Rebel communications officer in A New Hope (1977)
  • Christopher Truswell voiced Gilramos Libkath, Shu Mai, San Hill and Wat Tambor in Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Bruce Vilanch wrote The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
  • Patrick Warburton voiced G2-4T in the queue of the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride.
  • Forest Whitaker played Saw Gerrera in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Billy Dee Williams played Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • John Williams composed the score from Episode IV: A New Hope to Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Simon Williams was a senior animatronic designer on The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Simon Williamson played Max Rebo, Gamorrean guards, Mon Calamari officer, and others in Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Kenny Wilson was model mouldshop HOD (Head of Department) on The Force Awakens (2015)

Sources

  1. Star Wars Insider #42, p. 70
  2. Magnetic Dreams - Cookie's Crumby Pictures
  3. YouTube - Muppet Babies Theme, 0:42
  4. YouTube - Muppet Babies Theme, 0:15

External links

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