With the new Muppets movie getting such good reviews, it's a great time to reacquaint yourself with Star Wars's January 1980 appearance on the Muppet Show. Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew guest-starred on the classic Jim Henson show four months before the release of The Empire Strikes Back.
The appearance was clearly timed to build excitement for the upcoming sequel, and there is a rather unlikely reference to the film's plot when Luke (wearing an outfit resembling the "Bespin fatigues" he sports for much of Empire) confronts Dearth Nadir (Gonzo in a Darth Vader costume) on the planet Koozebane. Luke tries to shoot Dearth, but his blaster fails. Dearth then cackles and says, "At last you know the awful truth"--being only that Luke's blaster won't work in the presence of Dearth's crypto-anagon transmitter. It is quite surprising to see this foreshadowing of Empire's climax, considering how jealously the secret of this momentous plot twist was guarded during filming.
Luke, Threepio, Artoo and Chewbacca appear mostly during an episode of "Pigs in Space", the Muppet Show's running spoof of Star Trek and sci-fi generally. As was typical on the Muppet Show, this sequence features a delightful combination of silliness for the amusement of the show's young audience and pointed barbs for their parents. When Dr Strangepork first sees Artoo he asks Threepio, "Can I play with your toy robot?" When Threepio refuses, Strangepork says, "Aw come on, let me just push one button", to which Threepio replies, "Don't be disgusting".