Spaced is packed with pop-culture iconography, from extended homages to Manhattan, Say Anything, and The Matrix to blink-and-you-miss-it hat tips to The Shining, Evil Dead 2, Dawn of the Dead, and The Simpsons. But the most enduring reference point is Star Wars. Here are a few of the greatest hits.
Tim traces the whole cause and effect of the original Star Wars trilogy to the actions of a bit-part Galactic Empire gunner in the beginning of Episode IV. I'll let Tim explain: "If the gunner had shot the pod that C-3PO and R2 were in, they wouldn't have got to Tatooine; they wouldn't have met Luke; Luke wouldn't have met Ben; they wouldn't have met Han and Chewie; they wouldn't have rescued Princess Leia. None of it would have happened." What follows is a brief, heady trip into chaos theory, quickly derailed by the discovery of a pack of Jaffa Cakes in Tim's coat pocket.
The first mention of Tim's feelings of deep betrayal at the hands of George Lucas (remember, this is 1999). A quick cut shows him swathed in Skywalker robes (à la Return of the Jedi) and burning in effigy his stash of childhood Star Wars paraphernalia. In the same episode, when Brian caves in to Agent Smith-like forces, Tim spits at him: "You Lando." Burn.
Still reeling from the gut-punch suckage of The Phantom Menace, Tim gets sacked from his comic-book-store job for railing on a kid who tries to buy a Jar Jar Binks collectible. Choice quote: "Jar Jar Binks makes Ewoks look like Shaft."
The first episode to explicitly address the issue of platonic roommates Tim and Daisy's will-they-or-won't-they relationship. We never get a definitive answer (garrrr!), but: When you plan a five-man covert op to rescue your kidnapped Scottie dog from an underground vivisection ring and you give yourself the code name "Han" and your so-called platonic roomie the code name "Princess Leia" ... well, you might be tipping your hand. We couldn't think of a sweeter, more fanboy-perfect signpost.
It's the next to last episode of the series, so it makes sense that it ends on a dark note – with boozehound landlady Marsha running off into the night, estranged from the household at large, seemingly lost to them forever. Brian and Mike head out on a mission to find Marsha while Tim and Daisy sidle up to the window and look out, shaken but newly resolved – shades of the Star Wars gang, post-carbonite and down but not out. Daisy walkie-talkies "good luck" to the boys, Mike yawns back in Wookiee-speak, and The Empire Strikes Back's theme swells on the soundtrack. Cut to credits. Bloody spectacular.
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