The Big Bang Theory Recap: Season 8, Episode 19: The Skywalker Incursion

bb2 Sheldon and Leonard have been invited to give a lecture at Berkeley concerning the paper that they’ve been dealing with all season. Having heard that you should always open with a joke (which Leonard and Sheldon discussed prior to a previous paper in the first season episode “The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization), he sets to work writing the most offensive joke possible for his intended audience, which, of course, Sheldon finds amusing because he believes it to be true. Penny points out that when they chase them out of the lecture hall, Leonard only has to run faster than Sheldon, although in the past Sheldon has specifically stated that one of the reasons he chose Leonard as a roommate was because he could outrun Leonard in times of danger. Sheldon, meanwhile is ready to go with a restocked PRK (Public Restroom Kit), which includes all the essentials for someone of Sheldon’s delicate sensibilities to use a public bathroom, including a mirror on a stick to make sure the person in the stall next to him isn’t a “weirdo,” which makes the viewer wonder what will happen if Sheldon ever makes use of his PRK.

On the drive up to Berkeley (no train this time), Sheldon offers to play a physics game, “I Can’t Spy,” but when Leonard quickly figures out the first clue, Sheldon petulantly loses interest in the game. Instead, Sheldon offers to allow Leonard to turn on the radio, suggesting that Leonard “Play that funky music, white boy.” Leonard is surprised that Sheldon has heard of the Wild Cherry song, but Sheldon claims not to know what Leonard is talking about.

bb3The rest of the crew is at Mrs. Wolowitz’s house, where they are preparing to sell things off at a garage sale. Amy asks to be in charge of pricing because she’s experienced with garage sales, apparently buying much of her clothing at them, quite inexpensively. Raj discovers a pool table and bonds with Penny since Raj played Ping Pong growing up and Penny played beer pong. Lacking friends, Amy learned how to serve really well because she didn’t realize until Bernadette mentioned it that you could leave one side of the table up to play solo. Unfortunately for Bernadette, Howard noticed a sell sticker on his life-sized TARDIS. When he asks why it was for sale since he was going to move it into their place, Bernadette gave him a sad look and explained that he had just answered his own question

Back on the car trip, Leonard managed to find Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music (White Boy),” which leads Sheldon to reflect on the possibly reflexive nature of the song and what music the White Boy should be playing. He then compares the song to Russell’s Paradox and declares that he hates the song because music should just be fun. Leonard points out that they might arrive at the hotel early since they are making good time, which concerns Sheldon because he doesn’t want to have to sit in the lobby and draw the attention of the “hotel detective.” Sheldon suggests that they could try to visit Skywalker Ranch. Leonard points out that since it is in the middle of nowhere, Lucas probably doesn’t want people dropping in. Not to be deterred, Sheldon points out all the places that were visited in the Star Wars trilogy that were in the middle of nowhere, claiming that the films form practically an invitation to visit. Having time, Leonard agrees to drive by and look at the ranch. Sheldon then inadvertently quotes the Pointer Sisters, only to show his ignorance of the song when Leonard quotes the following line. Giving in to Sheldon’s urge to visit Skywalker Ranch, Leonard sets off to recreate the film FanBoys, although with 100% less Kristin Bell.

bb4Penny and Raj are playing Raj are playing Ping Pong when Amy asks if they’ve made a decision about the TARDIS. Howard states they are going to keep it and Bernadette offers to arm wrestle him for it, which Howard realizes he would lose. Raj suggests playing Ping Pong, but Bernadette doesn’t like the suggestion since she doesn’t play Ping Pong. Before the idea can be dismissed, Penny offers to play on Benradette’s behalf in vengeance for all the episodes of Doctor Who Leonard has made her watch. Rather than play Penny, Howard appoints Raj to play for him, allowing Amy to draw a parallel between what they are doing and German Trial by Combat. Penny also compares it to Game of Thrones, noting that she watches that because she likes it, not because Leonard makes her watch it.

bb5Leonard pulls up to the unimposing gate at Skywalker Ranch. Rather than be let down, they are excited. While they want to go in, Leonard realizes that they won’t get past the gate and he doesn’t have three years to make the gate feel sorry for him, which was his technique for winning Penny. They try asking for entry on the speaker box and Leonard babbles incoherently. The box being broken, the guard buzzes them in anyway.

bb6Having passed the gate, Sheldon is ready to face the actual security guard. Leonard plans to be honest with the guard. Sheldon, on the other hand, wants to stab Leonard so they can see the nurse. Leonard tells the guard that they just want to see the Ranch. The guard doesn’t let them in, even after Sheldon claims to be the voice of Yoda. The guard offers to give them some hats and t-shirts, but when he turns to get them, Sheldon leaps from the car and runs until he gets tasered within sight of the ranch.

bb7With Penny down 8-4 in the Ping Pong match, Bernadette gets desperate, asking Raj how good the TARDIS would look at his place. Friendship is one thing, but a TARDIS is something else. Raj begins to tank and Howard replaces Raj with Amy, who demonstrates an un-returnable serve. Bernadette takes one look at the ball flying by Penny and replaces Penny with Raj. Of course, what happens is that as long as Amy is serving, Raj can’t touch the ball, but as soon as service turns over, Amy has never learned to return a Ping Pong ball.

bb8Sheldon and Leonard are in the security office with a third trespasser. When Leonard jokingly says that they’re going to call Imperial Officers to take them to a holding cell on the Death Star, Sheldon corrects him by pointing out that Stormtroopers would have that task, a point with which the third prisoner whole-heartedly agrees. Sheldon believes he has found a compatriot, especially when he explained that he just wanted to meet George Lucas since he never felt like he fit in until he discovered Lucas’s creations. Sheldon is less than thrilled when he learns that after hopping the fence, the third prisoner was caught making out with a Chewbacca statue. Clearly, Sheldon should have used his mirror on a stick when he met the guy. However, his big takeaway is that there is a sculpture gallery. The guard returns and tells them that they’ll be released without charges, but if they return, Skywalker Ranch will call the police and press charges. The third prisoner, eager to go with Sheldon and Leonard is enjoined to sit back down.

bb9Bernadette coaches Raj on trash talking, but when Raj gives it a shot, he takes it too far. Howard, meanwhile has informed Bernadette that he’s going to put the TARDIS in the middle of the living room. Bernadette and Penny, meanwhile, focus their attentions on emasculating Raj as a warped way of encouraging him to win. With the score tied at 10-10, Bernadette realizes that she’s going to have the TARDIS in the living room and she makes Amy the same offer she made to Raj, pointing out that if Amy sets the TARDIS up in front of her bedroom door, she can get Sheldon into her bedroom. And cut to the TARDIS in Amy’s apartment.

bb10Leonard and Sheldon climb their apartment stairs having missed their lecture. Leonard is upset with the situation, but Sheldon points out that of everyone they know, they are the only ones to get into Skywalker Ranch, and as an added bonus, Leonard got to watch Sheldon get tasered. Leonard did have a chance to see the Ark of the Covenant through an open door, which was cool, but not as cool as Sheldon seeing Jabba the Hutt riding a motorcycle, although Sheldon does allow how that may have been an hallucination caused by the tasing.

bb11Unfortunately for Amy, the games Sheldon wants to play in her bedroom have nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with Doctor Who, and gives Jim Parsons a chance to demonstrate the worst English accent since Dick van Dyke

In many ways, “The Skywalker Incursion” is atypical of recent episodes. There are only two story lines, Sheldon and Leonard barely appear with the other characters, and both story lines revolve heavily on aspects of Geek culture, which is where the series started. The TARDIS in the Howard/Bernadette storyline is really just a maguffin, although it allows Bernadette to score some anti-Geek points. Sheldon and Leonard’s long-documented love for Star Wars really drives their plot. And if you haven’t watched FanBoys, you really should find a copy to watch.

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