WARNING: EPISODE SPOILERS BELOW
The Big Bang Theory is one of Prime Time’s veteran leaders. With most sitcoms, Season 7 would account for lingering fatigue and recycled themes. With the end of its own Season 7 in sight, The Big Bang Theory’s momentum is as strong as ever.
The episode’s running theme is “Star Wars Day,” a fan-made holiday that celebrates all things Star Wars annually on May 4 (“May the fourth be with you”). The boys decide they will be celebrating with (you guessed it) a movie marathon spanning the saga’s six films. Bob Newhart (Professor Proton) makes his third appearance in the series. Newhart’s whimsical stuttering is as charming as usual. Though it is presumably his last appearance, it is a fitting end to his run as a very popular recurring character. Throughout his brief run on the show, Proton portrayed a father-like figure to Sheldon. This episode is no exception. As a fan of Newhart growing up, I was absolutely thrilled to see him wield a Lightsaber while donning Obi-Wan Kenobi robes.
The dynamic of the series has evolved since season 4 to include “significant others” for the boys, yet the show always comes back to the glue that is the original four of Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Wolowitz. Raj’s typical feminine side is in full effect as he creates Star Wars-themed treats for the festivities (“Admiral Snackbar is open for business,” “R2-Decafe,” and “Attack of the Scones.”). Wolowitz, Raj, and Sheldon have an argument over which film to start the marathon with. Sheldon wants to watch the films in numerical order, while the others want to watch the films in “Machete Order.” Star Wars fans will eat this episode up. If you aren’t familiar with Machete Order, it flows from Episode 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. It skips 1 entirely, claiming that nothing relevant occurs (despite Sheldon’s protests) and views the prequel episodes of 2 and 3 as a flashback that further supports the original trilogy of 4, 5, and 6 (when Sheldon is writing the day’s schedule, he asks Leonard if one hour is enough time to complain about The Phantom Menace, however).
While the episode is a great homage to Star Wars Day, its greatest strength is showing the depth of the main characters’ relationships. Penny has come a long way from blonde bimbo to being one of the guys. On three to four occasions, Penny makes references to the movies’ lore before the boys do. Though her and Leonard often joke about Leonard’s failed proposal attempts, the two show how far they truly have come with their relationship. While making light of Leonard’s emotional instability, Penny references Toy Story 3 (“the toys were holding hands in a furnace!”). Ultimately, the episode shows how far Sheldon has come towards being human. The final moments of the episode produce one of the most feel-good moments to date.
The underlying theme is to appreciate what you truly cherish. The Big Bang Theory has seldom shown signs of slowing down and hints at a few more big moments before it decides to call it quits.
+ Fantastic Star Wars References
+ Characters’ relationships are stronger than ever
+ Bob Newhart
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