The Late Movies: Dancing, Star Wars-style


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, no one had ever heard of a little movie called Star Wars. Of course, George Lucas' "space opera," which revived sci-fi as a genre for the masses, is now a classic. The Star Wars movies (the first three, at least) were a triumph for nerds everywhere. What better way to celebrate than to dance?

The Muppets meet Mark Hamill

In January of 1980, the Star Wars cast joined Kermit & co. for a special episode of The Muppet Show. Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and R2-D2 blast through a wall in search of Chewbacca, who has been kidnapped. Then Luke's "cousin," Mark Hamill, shows up and things get as weird as you might expect. In pure Muppet fashion, the show closes with a big song-and-dance number:

Donny and Marie ruin everything

This it's-so-bad-it's-funny musical skit stars the Osmond siblings as Luke and Leia, respectively, with special appearances by Redd Foxx as "Obi Ben-Oki-Fenoki," Kris Kristofferson as Han Solo and Paul Lynde as Grand Moff Tarkin. Thankfully, no CGI means no Jar-Jar Binks; however, Donny's chest hair is almost as distracting. *insert laugh track here*

The Tokyo Dance Trooper

This is why TK-421 wasn't at his post. I can only assume this sort of thing happens all the time in downtown Tokyo.

Yoda busts a move

Not to be outdone by a clone, Jedi master Yoda shows some troopers how it's done. Believe it or not, this clip was animated by Industrial Light & Magic, and was an Easter Egg on the Episode III DVD. When 900 years old you reach, dance as good you will not.

Dance-Off with the Star Wars Stars

Whoever came up with the idea for Disney World's "Dance-Off with the Star Wars Stars" deserves a lifetime supply of churros. The dance competition, a highlight of the theme park's annual Star Wars Weekends, is always fun to watch. Luckily for those of us who don't live in Florida, someone has recorded the shows and posted them to YouTube. In 2007, the participants danced to some "classics" of the 1970s:

Here's 2008's showdown, a celebration of the dances of the 1980s. The entrance of Group #3 into the fray cracks me up every time.

And here's this year's competition, dedicated to (you guessed it) the 1990s:

Joey Fatone is a huge nerd

In April of 2007, former *NSYNC-er Joey Fatone brought this geeky dance to the hallowed halls of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." His partner and coach, wearing the slave-Leia getup, is Kym Johnson. Unfortunately, they didn't let R2-D2 participate in the dance, but at least he was there for the practice.

A stormtrooper dances to Britney Spears

People just love to see these white boys dance, it seems. This is a pretty awesome music video parody, but to appreciate fully, you have to listen to a Britney Spears song in its entirety. So, take your hand off the mute button and watch at your own risk.

Darth strips it down

Someone alert the Team America guys--they no longer have the market cornered on sexually suggestive puppets. My little brain can't fathom what would inspire someone to make a stripper Darth Vader puppet, but I think the world is consequently a better place.