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A Game Of Clones–Star Wars in popular culture

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A long time ago, in a Marin county ranch, George Lucas never thought Star Wars would make a few bucks at the box office, let alone ingrain itself in popular culture in a way that no other movie ever has or will do again. Not to mention change the movie world forever!!

Remember that big wave at the end of Perfect Storm? Or those big, rampaging dinosaurs in Jurassic Park? Or even that alien water tentacle in The Abyss. Well, thank Star Wars for that, specifically Industrial Light and Magic, the greatest effects house in history who were set up and tasked with creating everything from X-Wings to lightsabers and have done ever since.



Or how about TV? Besides the much "loved" Star Wars holiday special, Star Wars references and bits are made every single day on TV. Many of the greatest moments have involved the talk show circuit with Harrison Ford and Chewbacca having a long running feud, after Chewie slept with Ford's better half. It started in 2011 when Chewie turned up to Ford's dressing room and in 2013, Ford walked off Kimmel's show after Chewie once again turned up in the audience.





Another moment of brilliance, involved Jimmy Fallon at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, where the future Tonight Show host did an absolutely brilliant parody of Star Wars Episode III, where he played the role of Anakin Skywalker just as things were about to kick off on Mustafar



But one of Fallon's finest moments came around the release of Star Wars The Phantom Menace, back when he was on Saturday Night Live, with a superb Star Wars medley, which include the likes of Livin' La Vida Yoda!



Not to be outdone, The Late Show with David Letterman has had countless Star Wars bits and antics over the years, and the infamous Top Ten List which Letterman hammers out every night, is no stranger to all things Star Wars!



And while the king of night time talk shows,  Johnny Carson, never did too many Star Wars bits, his interviews with the cast were quite something, including this "interesting" interview with Carrie Fisher.



Before we move away from all things late night, some of the most hilarious Star Wars bits on late night television come at the hands of Conan O Brien, who had an inspired visit to Lucasfilm a few years back, as well as that long time Conan stalwart, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, who, in the clip below, turns up at the Attack of the Clones premiere for some doggy fun.





And Star Wars is riddled throughout TV shows (and video games) including The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

That '70s Show protagonist Eric Forman is a huge Star Wars fan.

The characters on The Big Bang Theory are Star Wars fans.

Star Wars is constantly mentioned in the show How I Met Your Mother and the characters Ted Mosby, Marshall Ericksen and Barney Stinson are huge fans. Barney also has a replica man size storm trooper in his living room.

The Mirage Raceway in Shimmering Flats, south of Kalimdor (World of Warcraft) is rumored to be a homage to Star Wars' Tatooine planet. Some of the Goblins have a slight resemblance to Star Wars Pod Racers, also similar is the fact that the course takes place in a desert, similar to the film saga. 

An episode in Danny Phantom, "The Fenton Menace", was named after Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Some of the mythological underpinnings of the franchise were discussed in a six-part feature on PBS first airing in 1988, called The Power of Myth, consisting of conversations between host Bill Moyers and renowned scholar Joseph Campbell.

In the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V, there is a motorcycle called the Shitzu Vader, an obvious play on Darth Vader.

From television, to film, the amount of homages and references to Star Wars is phenomenal. From J.J. Abrams having an R2-D2 cameo in Star Trek Into Darkness

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to even more recently with Marvel’s Kevin Feige admitting that there is a tribute to Star Wars in every Marvel move. The tribute involves a  character losing a hand or an arm, which of course is a
nod to Luke Skywalker on Bespin.

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Robert Zemeckis squeezed in some nods to in Back To The Future - When Marty McFly is trying to convince his father-to-be, George McFly, to ask  Lorraine  to go to the dance with him to stop Marty from not being born, Marty sneaks into his room with a radiation suit on and a hair dryer doubling up as a laser gun, saying, "Silence Earthling. My name is Darth Vader.The following day, Marty and George meet up at a gas station and Marty asks George why he wasn't in school and George replies, "Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan. And he told me that if I didn't take Loraine, that he'd melt my brain."

Steven Spielberg is constantly lobbing in tributes to his long time friend George Lucas, however, the most famous one is In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Well of Souls has hieroglyphic engravings of R2-D2 and C-3PO on a wall. They appear in the scene in which Indiana and Sallah remove the Ark of the Covenant.

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Even in David Fincher’s Seven, you can expect a Star Wars nod -  When Mills (Brad Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman) are at the station discussing the serial killer, Pitt makes the observation, "Just because he has a library card doesn’t make him Yoda."

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However, none can eclipse Kevin Smith. All of his movies have some form of Star Wars reference and nod, but none come bigger (no pun intended) that Zack and Miri Make a Porno



George Lucas once said "The sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie." and with Star Wars, it's no exception. John Williams iconic score has been used in ways that the composer never though possible. From introducing baseball teams like the New York Yankees 



to being recreated by a bunch of old 3.5" floppy disc drives



But some of the finest Star Wars music moments come via mashups and parodies including Weird Al Yankovic's The Saga Begins, which parodies American Pie.



And as much as it will destroy your soul, you can't deny Box Step Productions parody of Frozen's mind numbing Let It Go


Or how about GOTYE’s Somebody that I used to know

And College Humour didn’t miss a beat back in 2010 with Galactic Empire State Of Mind which was a rather brilliant parody on Jay-Z’s Empire State Of Mind

Youtube sensations The Piano Guys put together a phenomenal arrangement encompassing some of the most famous music from the saga

And while it’s far from a parody, Fett’s Vette by MC Chris (which also featured in Zack and Miri Make a Porno) is simply superb!!

Just looking at the above selection shows an incredible onslaught of all things Star Wars. And it doesn’t stop there. For years, Star Wars has flogged us everything from cars to Pepsi. Check out some of these ads below, which didn’t have to use any Jedi mind tricks to convince use to part with our hard earned cash




They even convinced some of us to taste C-3PO





While Star Wars was busy flogging us mainstream items, it also spawned a tonne of bizarre collectibles including a rather epic Death Star ice-cube

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However, we’re not to keen on the muscle bound Leia that Hasbro released a few years back. Looking like a cross between something from Planet of the Apes and steroid abuse, it was for the hard core fans only.

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Things got super weird however when you got the option to start licking a candy version of Jar Jar Binks tongue. We don’t care what it tastes like, there is no way we’d by sucking down on that. No matter how badly we need to practice our kissing!
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And if you were completely insane, you could tuck your balls into an inflatable Taun-Taun costume.
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And if you wanted to get really up close and personal while using the force, there is no shortage of unofficial Star Wars sex toys floating around the web which are sure to cause a great disturbance in a legal office somewhere.
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Fans have a voracious appetite for all things Star Wars, with many fans doing their very own Star Wars inspired amateur movies (no, not that kind) with even Lucasfilm sponsoring The Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards.




While I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg here when it comes to Star Wars and popular culture, it’s insane to think the movie has had an incredible impact on popular culture today and continues to do so.  Hell, I even had the Throne Room music from Episode IV as the music myself and my wife walked down the aisle to!With Disney reloading the Star Wars cannon for another few decades of movies, you can rest assured Star Wars will be still having as much as impact as it always had, long after we’re all gone to the great Skywalker Ranch in the Sky.
May the 4th be with you!

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The Movie Bit: A Game Of Clones–Star Wars in popular culture
A Game Of Clones–Star Wars in popular culture
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