In honor of Star Wars Day earlier this week, The Simpsons delivered audiences Maggie Simpson in "The Force Awakens From Its Nap," a three-minute short that is jam-packed with references to the galaxy far, far away, though one of the more subtle references saw the short paying tribute to a building on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California that some fans might not have picked up on. The Team Disney – The Michael D. Eisner Building in Burbank famously has the seven dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the top of the building, appearing to hold up its roof, with the recent short replicating the architecture on top of a bookshelf.
The scene sees Maggie having a showdown with a Darth Maul-inspired interpretation of her nemesis, Gerald Samson, who some might know as "Unibrow Baby." Gerald uses his Force powers to topple a bookcase, which not only features the dwarfs, but even sees them in an almost exact recreation of how they appear at the top of the Team Disney building.
The references to Star Wars in the short span the entire franchise, with only the most eagle-eyed viewers likely picking up on the reference not to any narrative elements of a Star Wars or Disney film, but to a building that many of Disney's executives use. While the lot isn't open to the general public, the passion of Disney fans and their devotion to learning about the processes that bring their favorite films to life surely means some viewers recognized the homage.
In Maggie Simpson in "The Force Awakens From Its Nap," "In a daycare far, far away… but still in Springfield, Maggie is on an epic quest for her stolen pacifier. Her adventure brings her face-to-face with young Padawans, Sith Lords, familiar droids, Rebel scum, and an ultimate battle against the dark side, in this original short celebrating the Star Wars galaxy."
Throughout the more than 30 seasons of The Simpsons, they've paid tribute to Star Wars and Disney in countless ways. With the animated series now belonging to the same studio responsible for other beloved properties, the debut of "The Force Awakens From Its Nap" has fans wondering if we could see a Marvel short in the future.
“I won’t say what it is but it’s also very exciting in different ways,” producer Al Jean detailed to Variety, confirming another short is already in the works. “The only goal is to sort of walk across the Disney Plus tiles from Star Wars to Nat Geo and plant our seed everywhere.”
When asked if this meant Marvel could be on the way, Jean teased, "Could be," while adding, "I’m a huge Marvel fan. We’ve dealt with them in a couple of ways. We’ve parodied them a lot. We even had a couple of them, including Kevin Feige, on the show. So our relationship with them has only been fantastic. Just as I’ve been inspired by Star Wars for 40 years, I grew up reading Marvel Comics. And have a bunch still. If somebody told me I’d grow up to write for Star Wars and Marvel I’d be pretty happy.”
Maggie Simpson in "The Force Awakens From Its Nap" is now streaming on Disney+.
Did you catch the reference? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!