A 1980 episode of The Muppet Show apparently alludes to Disney’s purchases of the Muppets and the Star Wars franchise.
The SimpsonsIt’s often credited with predicting the future, but it’s not the only show with seemingly prophetic episodes. In episode sixteen of the fourth season of The Muppet Show, now airing on Disney +, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO, all guest stars, along with Luke’s “cousin” Mark Hamill in anticipation of the release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Throughout the episode, Luke Skywalker and the droids work together to rescue Chewbacca from Dearth Nadir (obviously played by Gonzo). In the style of the Muppets, the Muppets force the Star Wars crew to participate in the grand finale of the episode. The song choice and the images of that ending seem to predict Disney’s future purchase of both the Muppets and the Muppets. Star Wars franchise.
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The episode begins with Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2 crashing into the backstage wall of The Muppet Show theater. The trio is confused and Luke declares that they must have landed on some “planet of comedy variety shows.” The Muppets, always the opportunists, decide to “cancel” the guest star scheduled for the night, Angus McGonagle, the Argyle Gargoyle who gargles Gershwin. Instead they declare the stars of Star Wars to be your guests at night. This episode was not the first time that the Star Wars franchise tackled the variety show format, as the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special reveals, but it still took a while for him Star Wars characters to fully participate in the show.
At first, the Star Wars Items are restricted to the backstage segments of the show. After the first skit, C-3PO and R2-D2 reveal to Kermit that Chewbacca has been kidnapped by Dearth Nadir as Luke frantically searches behind the scenes. Kermit tries to convince the trio to take part in the show, but initially only R2-D2 seems excited about the prospect of singing and dancing on stage. the Star Wars The cast finally enters the main stage by hijacking the Swinetrek from the “Pigs in Space” segment of the show. Luke claims that they are simply borrowing the ship to go find Chewbacca in Koozebane. Miss Piggy disguises herself as a princess in reference to Princess Leia, and threatens Luke and the droids into accepting her role. On the planet, they confront Dearth Nadir, who has a device that neutralizes blasters. Luke declares that they must instead use the ultimate weapon. Not the Force, but Chewbacca the Wookiee, who has escaped his confinement. Dearth Nadir has his own secret weapon, Angus McGonagle, whose gargles neutralize Chewbacca.
The situation seems really dire, but fortunately, in the world of the Muppets, everything can be solved with a song and a dance number. Chewbacca and R2-D2 dance, and then C-3PO shows off his amazing tap skills. Luke Skywalker leaves the stage to search for his “cousin” Mark Hamill, and this is the point where the episode seems to predict the future. Mark Hamill begins to sing “When You Wish Upon a Star”, a song that has become Disney’s signature. What is presumably Dearth Nadir’s castle rises in the background, and looks suspiciously like Cinderella’s castle, which has become an emblem of the Disney Corporation. It’s even accompanied by fireworks, as seen at the beginning of many Disney movies and every night in front of the royal castle at Disney theme parks around the world. Therefore, decades before Disney bought either of the franchises, they both connected to the Disney image through this song and dance number.
The Muppet Show did not consciously predict Disney’s acquisition of the Muppets and the Star Wars franchise, but this episode of the show strangely visualizes the future unification of the two franchises under the Disney umbrella. After fourteen years of negotiations, the Muppets became the property of Disney in 2004. Eight years later, Disney also bought Lucasfilm. So it’s reasonable to assume that under the Disney + banner, the two franchises could once again work together.
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