SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “The Bow Tie Asymmetry,” the 11th season finale of “The Big Bang Theory.”
In a moment fans had been long been waiting for, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) finally wed Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) on the season 11 finale of “The Big Bang Theory” Thursday.
Showrunner Steve Holland admitted he felt heavy pressure from the show’s supporters, as well as its own writing staff, to get the big moment right, telling Variety, “We live with these characters a lot, they mean a lot to us and certainly building up to this wedding we felt that we really had to get this right. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, I mean for every episode but this was certainly a big one — it was eight years in the making.”
The episode welcomed a full list of guest stars, with Mark Hamill serving as wedding officiant for the couple and Kathy Bates and Teller appearing as Amy’s parents. Jerry O’Connell, Laurie Metcalf and Courtney Henggeler also appeared as members of Sheldon’s family, and Will Wheaton, the former star of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” reprised his role as himself.
For Holland, Hamill was a dream get, admitting he “was literally at the top of the list.” The “Star Wars” icon, who played himself in the episode, ended up marrying Sheldon and Amy as a favor after Howard (Simon Helberg) found Hamill’s lost dog. Hamill is not first from the galaxy far, far away to appear on “Big Bang Theory,” as Carrie Fisher and James Earl Jones have previously had guest roles.
A self-described “gigantic ‘Star Wars’ fan,” Holland says that “Mark was everything you’d want him to be. He was hilariously funny… It was was really just a dream come true.”
O’Connell, who played Sheldon’s older brother Georgie, also took on a unique role, as it was “the first time that we were casting someone who we’d seen first on ‘Young Sheldon,’” Holland says. They settled on the actor largely because of his similar appearance to Montana Jordan, who plays Georgie on the spinoff show.
Stephen Hawking, who made frequent appearances on the show over the last decade before his death in March, was also honored during the finale. Unfortunately the special tag that the show shot had to be cut for time from the on-air broadcast of the episode but lives online as something of an extended version of the episode. In it, Sheldon and Amy received a wedding present from Hawking with a special engraving. That moment was “important to us to sort of acknowledge what he meant not only to the world but also to our show,” Holland says.
“He was always such a kind part of our family and anytime we’d asked him to appear or to lend his voice to something, he was always eager to do it, so we really wanted to find a way to sort of pay our respects to him and it seemed like the wedding was a big episode so it seemed like the right place to do it.”.
Although the episode largely focused on family and the relationship between Sheldon and Amy, the writers felt it was important to also stay true to the show’s commitment to science. To that end, Sheldon had a major academic discovery minutes before he said “I do.”
“It was important to give Sheldon a big win,” Holland says. “I’d had that thought early on that he might have a big breakthrough on his wedding day and I think actually [creator] Chuck [Lorre] had pitched that maybe it’s something that Amy helps with — she helps lead him to this breakthrough, and it just seemed like such a sweet, thematic moment that they’re joining their brains together on this day that they’re joining their lives together.”
As for the future of the show and how married life will change the couple, Holland says it’s all about “small steps.”
“I think what we’ve tried to do over the whole run of the show is have these people grow like real people, which isn’t gigantic leaps and bounds but in small increments,” he explains. “I think you’ll see that moving forward with married life as well.”