On February 21 of that year, four months before the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back, Mark Hamill made an appearance on Henson’s Muppet Show, both as himself and the character of Luke Skywalker. Joining Hamill for the episode were SW co-stars Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew.
What’s interesting about this episode is the puzzle it presents to viewers and fans of the saga. Where does it fit into the over-arching narrative that is the original trilogy? Or does it is even belong there at all. There are also a question of whether or not it tells us anything about the nature of the Lucas’s characters, especially when they are paired off against Henson’s madcap creations. Last, yet not least, there is a stylistic element to the nature of how this episode is written that deserves a closer look. This form of writing isn’t often seen nowadays, yet it used to be as legitimate as the Shakespearian stage. In fact, this very element I wish to examine provides an intriguing connective thread between Henson and the Bard. Follow along, if you want, and let’s see if there’s more to unpack in this brief half-hour variety episode than meets the eye.