THE BIG BANG THEORY: Steve Molaro on the STAR WARS Tribute, the Season Finale, and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE BIG BANG THEORY: Steve Molaro on the STAR WARS Tribute, the Season Finale, and More

May 1, 2014 by  


With the casting for the latest STAR WARS movie casting breaking this week, and May 4th right around the corner, there’s a whole lot of STAR WARS stuff in pop culture right now…and THE BIG BANG THEORY is doing its part by paying homage to STAR WARS in tonight’s brand new episode, “The Proton Transmogrification.”

To get a little bit of insight into the episode — and what else is to come — I spoke with THE BIG BANG THEORY showrunner Steve Molaro to see what he could share…

How big a part does STAR WARS play in tonight’s episode?
Steve Molaro: There is a very, very healthy dose of STAR WARS in this episode — so much so that we’re excited about the fact that LucasFilm and Industrial Light & Magic were involved in helping us make this episode. There are some really cool special effects that Industrial Light & Magic — who did all the special effects on Lucas’ films — did for us.

Because you are working with LucasFilms on the episode, did that limit what the characters are able to say about the franchise in terms of possible negativity, especially as some fans are worried about the upcoming films?
SM: We don’t really discuss the upcoming movies. Our relationship with LucasFilms has been absolutely fantastic since THE BIG BANG THEORY started. I can barely think of any examples where they said, “Could you please not do that?” And we poke fun at the franchise, too, and they know that, and they’ve just been great across the board…it’s been a wonderful relationship.

The episode also features the return of Bob Newhart. What can you preview about what he’ll be up to?
SM: In the vein of STAR WARS, Bob will be in Sheldon’s imagination as his Jedi Master.

Will we see him outside of Sheldon’s imagination, or is it purely the Jedi Master this time around?
SM: You’ll see him both as [Professor Proton] and as the Jedi Master in the same episode.

What did Bob think about having to play a Jedi Master?
SM: He got a huge kick out of it! We had to bring him up to speed a little bit on the whole STAR WARS mythology, but he was on board from pretty much the beginning of it.

Given that this is one of the biggest shows on TV right now — and I’d imagine this STAR WARS episode took a lot of work to make happen — has there been anything you pitched to CBS and/or WB that you haven’t been able to pull off?
SM: Not really. Once in a while there are actors we’d like to work with, and because of scheduling issues, that doesn’t work out. But we’ve been pretty lucky. There were a lot of steps that had to take place for something like the STAR WARS episode to come together, and it all did. I watched the final product, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s almost surreal we had this big, weird idea, and everybody was into it, and it actually happened.

CBS has teased that next week’s episode prompts Penny to take a big step in her relationship with Leonard. What can you tease about that?
SM: There’s more discussions there about their relationship and where it’s going. And there’s a real spotlight shining on it for the last [few] episodes of the season.

Since you know the show has at least three years more left in it, are you reluctant to pin that couple down right now?
SM: We feel our way through all of these changes organically. We don’t work well with big arcs. We kind of try and let the characters tell us where they want to go as much as we’re able to do that. I don’t know! There’s no plan based on the fact that we have this three-year pickup. We’ll just see where it goes.

And Howard and Bernadette are dealing with some issues as well…
SM: They continue to go through the struggles as any married couple will go through. One of them is always Mrs. Wolowitz. Her health is not so great these days, and it’s more of a burden being put on Howard and Bernadette.

Given those health issues, have you thought about phasing out that character? Or are you keeping her around?
SM: Nah, I think we’re very fond of that character. I think it says a lot about why Howard is who he is. And the woman who plays her, Carol Ann Susi, is just a delight to have around. So I don’t think Mrs. Wolowitz is going anywhere.

And Raj is in a new relationship. How serious is her going to get with Emily?
SM: I think it’s hard for him not to be serious. I think he ends up being serious with anyone who looks in his direction. But he happens to cross paths with a girl, and instead of trying to do what he thinks he’s supposed to say, or trying to play things at certain angles, he’s just going to be honest. Even if everything inside him says, “That thing you’re about to tell her is stupid and you’re going to blow this.” And this honesty is what she’s finding so charming, and it’s what I like about their relationship.

I loved that you admitted at WonderCon that the writers finished the finale script at Coachella. Were there any weird Coachella influences that found their way into that final script?
SM: Not really. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Coachella, but you have a lot of down time in the morning. And it’s usually so hot, you don’t want to roll over there until 5, 6 o’clock until the sun goes down. If it had any influence, we were just relaxed and chilling in the hotel room with a pool nearby. It made the writing fun, and relaxed, and I don’t want to say easy, because it’s kind of always hard, but we had a really good time writing it, and I couldn’t be happier with how the finale turned out.

What can you preview about what’s in store for the characters?
SM: There’s a lot of changes going on, not only in the finale, but in these last [few] episodes. And Sheldon is not a fan of change as you probably know. There’s some pretty big moves, and a lot of things don’t feel right to him anymore, and it’s rattling him pretty hard.

THE BIG BANG THEORY airs Thursdays at 8 PM on CBS.

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