Monday, April 14, 2014



A few years ago I was working 60 hour weeks and didn’t have time to watch much television.  My wife kept telling me about this show that she thought was a hoot because it reminded her of many of the funny geeky things in life she had been introduced to by marrying me.  One night my wife heard me laughing while watching television and asked me what I was watching.  “Oh it’s this great new show called The Big Bang Theory,” I told her. “That’s not new, I is  the show I’ve been telling you to watch for a few seasons now.”  As usual she was right, I love this show and have become a big fan.  We bought the DVDs for the first few seasons I’d missed that weekend and had a The Big Bang Theory viewing marathon.  I’ve been watching the show ever since.

The show follows the lives of Cal Tech scientist with a comedic focus on the scientific and geek culture aspects of their lives.  Over the last few years, the characters have appeared in shows with comic book and science fiction themes, sometimes even dressing in costumes associated with Star Trek or Super Heroes.

This season, The Big Bang Theory is going all out by creating an extensive replica of the Empire Strikes Back Dagobah swamp set for a special episode to celebrate  STAR WARS DAYMay the 4th”.  The Proton Transmogrification episode of The Big Bang Theory is an episode that any Star Wars fan isn’t going to want to miss.  It won’t be airing on May the 4th though, but rather on the Big Bang Theory’s regularly scheduled broadcast night of May 1, 2014.

For more information about MAY THE FOURTH, visit and if you don’t mind SPOILERS and want to know more about the upcoming Star Wars themed episode keep reading.

**SPOILERS** I haven’t seen the upcoming episode yet myself but have gathered the following information from several sources about its script. In “The Proton Transmogrification” , while planning Star Wars activities for May the Fourth two of the show’s main characters Sheldon and Leonard discover their childhood hero, PROFESSOR PROTON, has passed away.  Bob Newhart played the role of Professor Proton in an appearance last season which won him a Prime Time Emmy Award.  Professor Proton’s (aka Arthur Jeffries Ph.D.) funeral is going to be held on May the Fourth (be with you) Day.  Leonard decides to put off his Star Wars plans to attend the funeral while Sheldon says mourning for someone is a waste of time and refuses to go to the memorial service.

While Leonard is at Arthur Jeffries funeral, Sheldon is holding a Star Wars movie watching marathon with his friends Amy, Bernadette, Howard and Raj.  Sheldon becomes upset about Professor Proton’s death as they begin to watch the movies and storms to his room where he falls asleep.  In Sheldon’s dream he is transported to Dagobah where he encounters Professor Proton as Bob Newhart makes his third and possibly last guest appearance on the show.  I hear that The Big Bang Theory’s producers teamed up with  Disney’s LucasFilm division to go all out in recreating the original movie set.  Bob Newhart appears in normal clothes, but when questioned by Sheldon on whether he is supposed to be his mentor “like Obi Wan”, his clothes transform into Jedi robes.  A funny sketch comedy scene is supposed to follow involving Professor Proton and a light saber.  I was somewhat surprised with the Obi Wan outfit as with the Dagobah set and Bob Newhart involved I’d thought they would portray Dr. Proton as Yoda.  Maybe Newhart vetoed that idea as he didn’t want to be too silly in his appearance.   

Sheldon starts to talk with Professor Proton about death and how he lost his father.  Professor Proton tells Sheldon that people may leave us, but he should cherish and appreciate those who are still with us.  Sheldon says he does appreciate his friends, but the Professor questions him on whether that really is true.

When Leonard returns from the funeral, he wakes up his friend.  Sheldon gives Leonard a big hug.  They proceed to watch their Star Wars movie marathon.  The show wraps up with a final appearance by Bob Newhart giving Sheldon some Professor Proton sage words of advice.  With this episode ending the Bob Newhart Professor Proton story arc and including a Star Wars theme it looks to be one of the best shows yet.  The Big Bang Theory showrunner Steve Molaro seems to agree telling CNET that LucasFilm contacted the show about doing a May Fourth themed show and saying “We knew that Bob (Newhart) was coming back and LucasFilm called us, and we realized that this might be an opportunity to mix both stories and come up with something special.” Molaro added that  Lucasfilm’s own SFX company Industrial Light & Magic will be recreating the “Star Wars” swamp planet of Dagobah where Yoda hid from the clutches of Darth Vader and the evil Empire.  “Bob is going to be swinging a lightsaber around and they sent us a real one to use.  They’re going to help make it look and sound right.  It’s an amazing crossover for us.”

I’m going to be watching to see how closely the spoilers I found actually pan out and will also be on the look out to see what other future May 4th’s may hold for us.  With LucasFilm reaching out to promote the day with The Big Bang Theory and new Star Wars movies in the future it looks like May the Fourth may become a regular franchise promotional tool supported by Disney.  We’ll have to see if it eventually hosts annual events and promotions as interesting and fun as Free Comic Book Day has become. 

I really appreciate how The Big Bang Theory makes geek jokes and references without really making fun of geeks.  You can laugh at the geeky culture rather than degrade it which this comedy does a nice balancing act with.  I enjoy lots of things about the show, its comedy, references to comic book and science fiction, and that its theme song is sung by one of my favorite bands.  Did you know it was written and performed by The Bare Naked Ladies?  Check out this surprise performance of the theme song by the band at Comic Con a few years ago:

The Force is with us all too because a few weeks ago it was announced The Big Bang Theory was renewed for 3 more seasons.  The Big Bang Theory airs at 8pm EST Thursdays on CBS:  Enjoy May the Fourth my friends!

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