22. February 2014 11:21
The history of Star Wars has long been entwined with that of the Muppets, puppeteer Frank Oz who performed Miss Piggy, Animal, and many others, also performed Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) would go on to help Jim Henson with the Dark Crystal and other projects. Some years later, Muppet Babies would also pay homage to Star Wars.
In July 1980 Starlog featured this recap of an episode from Season 4 of the Muppet Show which featured special guests Mark Hamil, C3P0, R2D2 and Chewbacca:
Star Wars Meets Pigs in Space
Chewbacca has sent word to Luke, R2-D2 and C-3PO that he’s being held prisoner by “a bunch of weird turkeys." In an effort to rescue the Wookie, Luke and friends hijack a cluttered Swine Trek and take it to the barren wastes of the planet Koozebane.
The Star Wars crew were just one of a trilogy of superheroes who landed on The Muppet Show during completion of its fourth season, now wrapping production after being delayed for several months as a result of a technicians’ strike. (At one point, ITC Entertainment was planning to move the show to Germany to complete the season. However, settlement of the strike allowed them to continue at the ATV London studio home base.)
Lynda “Wonder Woman” Carter and Christopher “Superman” Reeve also joined the Muppets this year to display a variety of talents to an appreciative cast.
For instance, Reeve appeared as Hamlet in a Shakespearean skit (where Yorick’s skull answers back) and wielded a scalpel when he substituted for Dr. Bob (Rowlf) at the veterinarians hospital. He also flexed his vocal cords for a rendition of “East of the Sun.”
When Lynda Carter arrived on the set, she found the Muppets in deep concentration. They were studying “Invincibility Made Easy” as part of a correspondence course to bring our latent superpowers. Miss Piggy went whole hog over the idea and transformed into “Wonder Pig.” No match for Carter, Miss Piggy’s first and last feat was to save a family from the wrath of a giant chicken.
On the Swine Trek, Miss Piggy’s lashes flutter reflexively at the sight of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). She declares he’s “one of the heavenly bodies” and does her best to convince him that she’s the long-lost princess. Despite her braided buns and flowing white gown, Skywalker is not convinced.
Meanwhile, Captain Link Hogthrob wants Skywalker off the ship, but is willing to exchange the Trek for the name of Skywalker’s tailor.
As the Trek lands on Koozebane, the villain Dearth Nadir (Gonzo) warns of impending perils. The gloom is brief and soon Chewbacca and R2-D2 are dancing a duet and C-3PO shows he’s a natural tapdancer. Finally, Hamill leads the cast in “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
If you missed these shows the first time around, they are expected to be repeated in most major markets this summer.
Immediately upon completion of The Muppet Show’s fourth season, creator Jim Henson and Co. will begin to shoot the sequel to The Muppet Movie for Lord Lew Grade, reports Bob Mandell of ITC.
A partial list of stars scheduled to guest with Henson’s TV Muppets next season includes James Cobum, Jane Fonda, Mac Davis, Linda Ronstadt and Roger Moore.
[Source: Starlog #36, July 1980, P.9. Copyright © 1980 O'Quinn Studios, Inc. All rights reserved. Starlog is a registered trademark of O'Quinn Studios, Inc.]
In case you missed it, here is the full episode:
Looking for a better quality version of this episode? Buy it on DVD.