I Bent My Wookiee! Celebrating the Star Wars/Simpsons Connection

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July 24, 2007

Bart Wars: A Simpsons/Star Wars Compendium

Scott Chernoff

This is as complete a list as we at the Insider, with considerable help with our friends at The Simpsons and Bongo Comics, were able to compile. We trust you'll let us know if we missed any...

Editor's Note: Since this articles' publication nine years ago, there have been many, many more references. So, by perusing the work of those incredible archivists at SNPP, we've updated the list accordingly.

"Bart the General" (2/4/90) Bart accurately declares the only "good wars" to be the American Revolution, World War II and the Star Wars trilogy.

"Old Money" (3/28/91) Among the Springfield residents in line for Abe Simpsons' money is someone dressed as Darth Vader.

"I Married Marge" (12/16/91) In a flashback, Homer and Marge are leaving the theater where they just saw The Empire Strikes Back when Homer marvels, "I can't believe Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father," ruining the surprise for everybody in line. Later, Homer declares his love: "Marge, you're as pretty as Princess Leia and smart as Yoda."

"Bart's Friend Falls in Love" (5/7/92) Milhouse appears to have an X-wing fighter poster on his wall.

"Lisa the Beauty Queen" (10/15/92) Lisa goes to a caricature artist who displays a caricature of Darth Vader. In a montage, she sports the corn-rows of Bo Derek, the beehive of Marge Simpson, and the legendary double-bun 'do of Princess Leia.

"Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie" (11/3/92) A landspeeder-type vehicle cruisers by Homer and Bart.

"Marge vs. the Monorail" (1/14/93) Mayor Quimby attempts to ingratiate himself to Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy, who's in town for the launch of the Springfield Monorail, by telling him, "May the Force be with you."

Syndication Promo (fall, 1993) In a commercial to promote reruns of The Simpsons, we see actual footage of Luke's X-wing entering the Death Star trench, with Bart animated into Luke's uniform and firing the shot that destroys the Death Star.

"Homer Goes to College" (10/14/93) Mr. Burns leaves his office in an escape pod similar to the one used by C-3PO and R2-D2 at the beginning of Star Wars.

"Burns' Heir" (4/14/94) A THX trailer is so loud it shatters glasses, teeth, and heads to the astonishment and appreciation of a packed house of moviegoers.

THX Theatrical Trailer (6/94) Slightly different version of the THX spoof from "Burns' Heir."

"Lisa's Rival" (9/11/94) Principal Skinner can barely contain his joy upon seeing Ralph Wiggum's diorama project, "Pre-packaged Star Wars characters still in their display box? Are those the limited edition action figures? Why, it's Luke, and Obi-Wan, and my favorite, Chewie! They're all here! ...We have a winner!" Also, Ralph drops his Chewbacca figure and whines, "I bent my Wookiee!" Earlier in the episode, Lisa's rival Allison (guest voice Winona Ryder) easily offers this apropos anagram for "Alec Guiness:" Genuine Class.

"Homer vs. Patty vs. Selma" (2/26/95) Bart's ballet teacher appears to him with advice a la Obi-Wan Kenobi.

"A Star is Burns" (3/5/95) A Simpsons-esque version of John Williams' "Imperial March" (arranged by the show's inventive composer Alf Clausen) is heard as Mr. Burns plots his winning film for the Springfield Film Festival at the nuclear power plant.

"'Round Springfield" (4/30/95) In a classic spoof of the ubiquitous voice of James Earl Jones, three of his most famous incarnations (voiced by Simpsons regular Harry Shearer) put in cameos after Lisa's dead saxophone mentor, Bleeding Gums Murphy, appears in a cloud. First, Lion King patriarch Mufasa rises in the sky and intones "You must avenge my death, Kimba -- dah, I mean Simba!" (a sly reference to the similarities between the Disney character and a popular Japanese animated character), followed swiftly by Darth Vader, intoning "Luke, I am your father." Finally, James Earl himself appears, announcing, "This is CNN."

"The Springfield Connection" (5/7/95) The Springfield Pops plays the Star Wars theme, and Homer complains to Marge that tampering with the classics will make John Williams turn over in his grave.

"Treehouse of Horror VII" (10/27/95) In the story "The Genesis Tub," inspired by an episode of The Twilight Zone, tiny spaceships attack Bart along the contours and perimeter of his body, like X-wings on the Death Star.

"The Springfield Files" (1/12/97) When Homer sees an alien (actually a frail and glowing Mr. Burns), Mulder and Scully of The X-Files show him an all-star police line-up of aliens that includes ALF, Looney Tunes star Marvin the Martian, The Day the Earth Stood Still's Gort -- and Chewbacca. The Wookiee is also briefly seen singing with Scully and Mulder.

"The Last Temptation of Krust" (2/22/98) Krusty the Clown goes to a coffee shop called Java the Hutt.

"This Little Wiggy" (3/22/98) While visiting the Knowledgeum, Homer sits behind the controls of a egg-sperm fertilization simulator that is designed after the Millennium Falcon's turret guns. Elsewhere at the same place, a Mars exhibit has a logo that looks an awful lot like the Star Wars logo.

"Bart the Mother" (9/27/98) At the Family Fun Center arcade, one of the ticket prizes includes an X-wing fighter toy.

"Mayored to the Mob" (12/20/98) One of the richest troves of Star Wars references starts with a visit to a sci-fi convention (The Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con) which boasts appearances of "the gay robots of Star Wars" and Chewbacca at the event. Mark Hamill is one of the guests (and one of the guest voices), and ends the episode with a dinner theater appearance where some creative liberties were taken to make Guys and Dolls a little more like Star Wars ("Luke be a Jedi, tonight!"). When Homer gets targeted by mobsters at dinner, Mark implores him to "use the forks!"

"Viva Ned Flanders" (1/10/99) Comic Book Guy's car sports a "my other car is the Millennium Falcon" bumper sticker, reportedly given to him by a Harrison Ford look-alike.

"Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?" (10/24/99) There's an appearance of Planet Springfield, the Simpsons' answer to the memorabilia-laden Planet Hollywood chain. Inside is a classic Star Wars poster.

"Treehouse of Terror X" (10/31/99) In this Halloween episode, the Comic Book Guy appears as "The Collector," a diabolical villain who tries to trap Lucy Lawless in mint condition for his collection. He uses a replica of Darth Maul's double-ended lightsaber, and wants Lawless to refer to him as Obi-Wan.

"E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" (11/7/99) The Springfield Googleplex Theater is playing, according to the marquee, My Dinner with Jar Jar.

"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge" (5/14/00) In reference to a frustrated Lisa, Marge's sisters Patty and Selma note that "the bitterness is strong in this one," a play on Vader's line, "the Force is strong in this one."

"Worst Episode Ever" (2/4/01) Desperate for money, Martin Prince's mother hauls a box of collectibles to the Comic Book Guy to appraise. Inside is Princess Leia's jiggle-preventing gaffers tape, an original handwritten script for Star Wars by George Lucas, and a film reel labeled "ALTERNATE ENDING: Luke's father is Chewbacca."

"Hungry Hungry Homer" (3/4/01) As Homer and the president of the Duff beer company grapple, a torn Duffman watches -- much like Vader watches the Emperor zap Luke in Jedi. Ultimately, Duffman picks up his boss and hurls him over a fence.

"Treehouse of Horror XII" (11/6/01) Yoda has a cameo appearance in the "Hex in the City" chapter, playing a minister for a Gypsy-Leprechaun wedding.

"Brawl in the Family" (1/6/02) Among the many variety of themed Monopoly boardgames the Simpsons own is a Star Wars version of the game.

"Half-Decent Proposal" (2/10/02) Comic Book Guy sleeps holding a Jar Jar doll, to which he coos, "Oh, Jar Jar, everyone hates you but me." Also in his bedroom, signed photos of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Star Wars bedsheets, Chewbacca PJs, and a portrait of Yoda.

"Gump Roast" (4/12/02) Dr. Hibbert is seen in a Darth Vader costume in this episode, proclaiming to Moe, "I am your father!" Later in the episode, the Imperial March plays as an introduction to Mr. Burns.

"Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge" (5/22/02) Homer admits to trick-or-treating as Jar Jar Binks the previous year.

"Treehouse of Terror" (11/3/02) Remember, this is the year Episode II came out -- one of the segments of this year's Halloween episode sees the creation of a Homer clone army.

"C.E.D'oh" (3/16/03) Among the hazards found at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plants are employees Carl and Lenny using plutonium rods to recreate lightsaber duels. The two work out their aggression while arguing whether Episode I or II "sucked more."

"Co-Dependent's Day" (3/21/04) The most extended riff on the prequels isn't exactly a love letter to Star Wars. The film Cosmic Wars: The Gathering Shadow opens, and features a not-too-popular amphibian named Jim-Jam Binks. Cosmic Wars creator Randall Curtis works in a scenic ranch in California's wine country, and his offices include a visual effects facility complete with high-tech computer motion capture systems, and more than a few recognizable Star Wars -- er, we mean Cosmic Wars -- collectibles.

"Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em" (9/24/06) Principal Skinner and Bart have a stick-fight scored to Duel of the Fates.

"You Kent Always Say What You Want" (5/20/07) The series' 400th episode sees newscaster Kent Brockman get fired for swearing on live TV. Among his career highlights was an interview with R2-D2.

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