Halloween and Star Wars

My editor asked me if I could do an article about Star Wars and Halloween; the inspiration? Seeing Yoda in E.T….. “Err, sure” I said, “that won’t be a problem!” More the fool was I! As a child living in England, Halloween was always seen as an American holiday. The idea of getting dressed up and going out trick or treating seemed absurd and to be quite honest, I was always looking more forward to Bonfire Night. My interaction with Halloween was solely based on what I saw in movies, and growing up, that was E.T.

E.T. showed us what Halloween was about and it did look fun (well who wouldn’t want to walk round with an alien?!). But there is that scene where E.T. sees a person dressed as Yoda and it looks like he is seeing a familiar soul. A great moment! E.T. is not short on Star Wars references, but it was this that really stuck with fans. George Lucas paid the compliment back to Steven Spielberg in The Phantom Menace, where if you look carefully (and thank god when DVDs can out) you can see that ET’s species has their own pod in the senate. Fans being fans, we jumped on this, connecting the dots, making the connections. It was obvious that E.T. must have known in the film who Yoda was, it’s why he reacted the way he did, and so E.T. actually came from a galaxy far, far away…

Ok, it’s just a fan theory, but I love it! Is anyone going to take it seriously, probably not, but then it’s just a bit of fun and isn’t that what Star Wars is all about? As the years have gone on, as holidays from America have filtered over more and more, Halloween is much bigger. Children do get dressed up, the do go trick or treating and there seems to be pumpkins everywhere! I myself grow pumpkins in the school garden with my class! It has led to more and more Halloween references involving Star Wars and so I thought I would list my top five Star Wars Visual companions, just in case you want to get into that scary mood!

5: The Big Bang Theory
The show that showed the rest of the world that geeks were cool. The episode, ‘The Holographic Excitation’, is from season 6 and is set, surprisingly at Halloween. Sheldon and Amy steal the show, the two can’t decide on what they should wear for Halloween. As you can imagine, the Star Wars references come in thick and fast and the end result is superb. Although I would recommend the show for Star Wars fans generally, with a vast array of guests including James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher, this episode in particular is perfect for your Halloween viewing.

4: The Goldbergs
This is one of our favourite shows in my house. I originally found it because of the real Adam Goldberg, who co-wrote Fanboys (and if you haven’t watched this, you’re doing yourself a disservice as a Star Wars fan). This show, set in the 1980s, is jammed full of Star Wars references. Just like The Big Bang Theory, the episode in question, ‘Jackie Likes Star Trek’ (season 5) is all about disagreements on what costumes should be worn by Adam and his girlfriend Jackie. For someone who was born in the eighties, this show holds a huge amount of nostalgia for me and I’m sure will do for many Star Wars fans.

3: Stranger Things
Although there is not one episode to point to in this series, this whole story is perfect for Halloween. It’s creepy, atmospheric and has an eighties horror quality that will get some jumping in their seats. Set, like The Goldbergs, in the eighties, it is littered with Star Wars references. As long as you can get past that it’s not a vintage Millennium Falcon in the show (first thing I noticed), this will be a creepy solution to meet your Star Wars and Halloween needs.

2: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
E.T. comes a very close second. This was the very first film to start the Star Wars/Halloween reference and deserves that place. As well as Yoda, make sure you look for all the vintage toy references. Be ready with the tissues, as the last half an hour will surely pull at the heart strings.

1: Star Wars: The Holiday Special
So, it doesn’t have a direct link with Halloween I admit, but if you want a scare with your Star Wars then look no further! There is a reason that George Lucas wants every copy destroyed! I have tried watching these three times, and every time I can’t get through it. It’s terrifying to think that this could have been the direction Star Wars went in after A New Hope. You may think it’ll be great to see the original actors in their original roles; oh, I went into this horror with the same naïveté! I like to think that this could have had some potential, yet it is wasted and in something nightmarish that may very well haunt your dreams. This is why, for me, this is the top of my Halloween list!

Of course, if you don’t want to see our beloved franchise belittled so much, then my alternative is Clone Wars season 2 and the arc that begins with ‘Landing At Point Rain’. The four-part arc makes a perfect companion piece to Halloween, with lots of scary moments and creepiness. It is some of the best episodes of Clone Wars and will put you in the mood ready for the release of the new season. If you don’t have the time, then look no further than season one and the episode entitled ‘Rookies’.

And there you have it, my top five pieces of TV and film to bring your love of Star Wars together with Halloween. So, carve those pumpkins, get the sweet bowl ready and enjoy a very Star Wars Halloween.

Mark 'Spooked Hippie' Alders
Mark’s day job is a primary school teacher, where in his classroom you will find life size cut outs of Darth Vader and Chewbacca, trying his best to educate the youth of today in the ways of the force.