Tag Archives: Science Fiction

May the 4th Be With You: Remembering a Very Special Star Wars Visit to Sesame Street

This annual unofficial Star Wars holiday – May the 4th be with you! – gives us a great excuse to go back and look at one of our favorite moments from the legendary intergalactic franchise. That, of course, was the day that R2D2 and C-3PO visited Sesame Street!

Landing just before the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the second film in the still-growing series, the two iconic droids actually appeared on our favorite children’s program for two episodes in January 1980. And the highlights are still amazing.

First, the Sesame Street gang approach the friendly pair to see what brings them to town. Naturally R2D2 claims a secret mission has brought him to deliver a secret message, while C-3PO simply wants an oil change after traveling 50 parsecs.

Then, the two space friends join in the kind of impromptu musical fun – and learning – that can only happen on Sesame Street when they teach Big Bird how to count with their own personalized numbers ditty – “If it says one, I go ‘beep!’ If it says two, I go ‘beep beep!'” – and join in with Bob and friends on an almost avant-garde interpretation of the alphabet song!

And, of course, what would a visit to Sesame Street be without meeting a new friend? Before blasting off back to another galaxy, R2D2 even fell in love with an unexpected feature of almost every street!

Of course, this actual visit from real stars of the Star Wars cast isn’t the only time the films have found their way onto the beloved children’s series. In fact, just a few years ago, Star Wars was the focus of one of our favorite Sesame Street parodies, “Star S’mores.” Watch for Snuffleupagus as a Bantha, and stay for the meta in-joke of Grover as Yoda. And, May the 4th be with you!

Where no man has gone before

Watch Pioneers of Television: Science Fiction at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15 on Wisconsin Public Television.

It seems like television can take us anywhere. And, there is one genre of creative television that propels viewers into the stratosphere and the far reaches of our minds — science fiction. With this episode of Pioneers of Primetime, producers take us all back to meet the early innovators of the genre. People like Gene Roddenberry and Rod Serling transported viewers with their stories to far-reaching places with unique and mind-bending storylines. Sure, the sets might have been a bit more rudimentary than today’s computer-generated special effects. But, the storiess were some of the most innovative ever written, with characters that are still part of our everyday lexicon. In the interview below, Leonard Nimoy (who played one of those lasting characters, Spock) talks about Star Trek and his earliest science fiction acting job.