An episode of “The Muppet Show” from 1980 actually spoiled some storylines for “The Empire Strikes Back,” though no one realized it at the time.

  • Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and R2-D2 all appear in the episode and go on the hunt for Chewbacca.
  • “The Muppet Show” Episode 417: Star Wars aired in February 1980. “The Empire Strikes Back” hit theaters on May 21, 1980.

And it apparently had some spoilers. Per SF Gate, there were two major moments that hint at what’s to come in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

  1. The “Pigs in Space” sketch features Miss Piggy flirting with Luke Skywalker, which was a hint at what’s to come when Leia kisses Luke.
  2. The same sketch shows a character named Dearth Nadir, who is wearing a massive helmet. At the end of the scene, the narrator says, “Stay tuned for part two when the Swinetrek lands on Koozebane and we learn the true identity of this archfiend.” At the time, no one understood that Vader’s identity had any significance, making this little nod a massive hint, according to SF Gate.

In general, the “Star Wars” characters' appearance on “The Muppet Show” was foreshadowing, in a way, that both franchises would be owned by Disney, too, according to SF Gate.

How to watch

The episode of “The Muppet Show” is available on Disney+, which recently released the full five-season catalog of the show.

  • “The Muppet Show” — a variety show that featured Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and the Swedish Chef — included guest stars such as Steve Martin, Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Alice Cooper, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Gene Kelly and Mark Hamill.
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Disney+ recently added a content warning that advises people about potentially upsetting content, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.
  • “Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.”
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