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The Classic Star Wars Mistake Even The Big Bang Theory Couldn't Escape

When it comes to nerd representation in media, it doesn't get any more recognizable or authentic than The Big Bang Theory. Airing from September 2007 to its conclusion in May of 2019, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady's generation-defining sitcom took the world by storm in short order. Between its cast of entertaining characters, a perfect blend of comedic and emotional stories, and its list of impressive guest stars, the series was truly a one-of-a-kind watch when placed up against the wider television landscape. Arguably the biggest factor that helped The Big Bang Theory to earn this status is its incomparable pop culture references.

The Big Bang Theory's main cast of characters — Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) — proudly wear their dorkiness as a badge of honor. The show's primary setting, Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, is decked out with comic books and science equipment, and they riddle their conversations with jokes and references that everyone from cinephiles to chemists can appreciate.

Even still, the writing team has managed to slip up here and there, just missing the mark in such a way that inadvertently disappoints the more attentive in the Big Bang fandom. For example, in one specific instance, they fell headfirst into a longstanding pitfall that has plagued Star Wars fans for over four decades now.

Sheldon Cooper misquoted Darth Vader's most iconic line

While there are only a handful of defining moments in the history of film, Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) revealing to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) that he's his father is certainly among the biggest. The scene came in the 1980's film, The Empire Strikes Back, during their duel on the platforms of Bespin's Cloud City, where Luke accused Vader of killing his real dad. In response, the Sith Lord replied, "No, I am your father," in what soon became one of the most jaw-dropping, yet too-often misquoted lines ever to hit the big screen.

This is a prime example of the Mandela Effect, which occurs when a collective misremembers an event, idea, or, in this case, line from a movie. But, given the number of people who remember it this way, the belief perpetuates that the false interpretation is the real one. Sheldon Cooper — or rather, The Big Bang Theory's writers — fell into this trap in the season 11 episode "The Relaxation Integration" during a discussion about the sound of his voice. He jokingly referred to himself as the "Caucasian James Earl Jones" before recalling the famous quote as, "Luke, I am your father."

Of course, it should come as no surprise that the Star Wars fandom was up in arms over this flub and took to the Internet to vent (via The Daily Express). At the end of the day, those in front of and behind the camera for The Big Bang Theory deserve a bit of slack. Though this mistake is highly common and can be made by anyone, even a brainiac and walking encyclopedia of Star Wars knowledge like Sheldon Cooper.