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The episode begins in a man and woman’s apartment, the woman is telling the man, Chester [played by Michael Gladis], that they are going to be late to meet their friends but Chester is obsessed with watching Barney come out of the building across the street. Chester, with his binoculars, tells the woman, Veronica [played by Meghan Maureen McDonough], about how “the well-groomed man who comes out of that building every night, walks seven paces then smiles.” Chester becomes enraged and screams, asking, “Is he trying to communicate with someone? Is he trying to communicate with me? Why is he doing this?!”
Shoot to MacClaren’s as Robin, Barney and Lily are sitting in their usual booth. Robin asks Barney, “Aside from not being able to fart in the apartment, how’s it been living with Quinn?” He responds that it's been great so far. Barney goes on to say that’s been “great, great, great” to which Robin replies, “Okay, how bad is it?” Barney’s response, “Pretty bad.” Then, he relays what happened the previous night.
Shoot to Barney’s apartment and Quinn telling them that she sold all her stuff when she moved in with him except for one thing. Then she asks if they can use her coffee mugs instead of Barney’s. He says no.
Shoot back to MacClaren’s as Lily tells Barney that the reason he said no to Quinn’s request is because he doesn’t see the relationship going anywhere and “when that inevitable breakup comes, you don’t want to go out and buy new mugs.” Robin then interjects that she’s never given up any of her stuff for a relationship. Barney then tells Lily that “it’s my apartment and I have to assert my dominance as a man.” Robin then tells Barney to “never say that to any girl…ever.” Barney’s response, “Too late.”
Shoot back to Barney’s apartment and Quinn screaming at him, “What did you just say to me?!”
Shoot back to MacClaren’s as Robin and Lily yell at Barney for saying that to Quinn when she gave up all of her stuff for him. Barney then tells them that he’s fed up at being yelled at, gets up out of the booth and says that he’s going over to Ted’s, “the man cave. Where guys can be guys.”
Shoot to Ted’s place, Marshall is there too. When Barney tells them what he said to Quinn, both Ted and Marshall also start to yell at Barney like Robin and Lily did. Barney’s shocked that Marshall and Ted are also yelling at him. Barney gets mad again and moves to leave but Ted stops him by reminding him that it’s “trilogy time.” Then, Ted narrates to his kids how “trilogy time” began. “It all started long ago, in a dorm room far far away,” Ted narrates.
Shoot back to the year 2000 at Wesleyan University. Marshall and Ted are in their dorm talking about what will happen if they fail their economics final. Then, Marshall asks Ted what economics is to which Ted replies that he doesn’t have a clue and adds “there’s only one thing to do at a time like this. Watch the entire Star Wars trilogy the whole way through because I haven’t done that in like, five years.” Marshall replies that, “If you don’t watch the trilogy at least every three years, the Dark Side wins.” Ted then suggests to Marshall that they make a pact that no matter what, every three years, they watch the Star Wars trilogy all the way through. Marshall agrees and then Ted wonders what 2003 will be like.
Shoot to Ted’s vision of 2003. He’s got long hair and there’s a newspaper on his couch that has the headline “President Gore Signs Historic Bill into Law.” Marshall walks in wearing a suit. Ted says he’s designing “another skyscraper because I’m a successful architect” and Marshall says that he’s wearing the suit because he’s a “successful lawyer.”
Shoot back to 2000 as Ted tells Marshall, “Who knows, by then you and Lily could be engaged.” Marshall replies, “Engaged? Bro, I’m gonna do way better than that.”
Shoot to Marshall’s vision of 2003 with Lily being pregnant, loving it and saying that she’d like to do it four more times. Marshall then asks Lily how she feels even though she doesn’t work because he can supports them both. Lily replies that it makes her “horny” and then turns to Ted and tells him that it’s okay that he and Marshall are successful and yet she and Marshall are married with a baby on the way and are all still living in Ted’s apartment on bunk beds. Ted then suggests “Trilogy time” and Marshall agrees and says he doesn’t have to be into work until later because his boss “appreciates my drinking and my rockin’ out with my band.” Then, Robin walks in playing a guitar really well and Ted introduces Lily and Marshall to his new girlfriend “who was a virgin till we met.” Robin then calls herself, “Rihanna, like the Stevie Nicks song. I’m hot in a pushy, earthy kind of way.” Then, in an English accent says she’s from England. Marshall then suggests that they “jam” before watching the trilogy. Ted then takes out his guitar and says he’s glad he’s “spent the last three years learning how to wail on guitar.” He then plays guitar really well.
Shoot back to 2000 as Ted and Marshall talk about how huge their band is going to be and how awesome 2003 was going to be. Ted then narrates that both he and Marshall got zeroes on their economics final.
Shoot to what really happened in 2003. Ted’s in his apartment, playing guitar badly. Marshall walks in, hears Ted playing and tells him not to give up. Marshall sits down next to Ted who asks him if he’s ready to watch the trilogy. Marshall replies, “I don’t know. I thought by now, I’d be a successful lawyer but I still haven’t even gotten into law school.” Ted tries to tell Marshall that his life isn’t all that bad, to which Marshall replies that he manages a Structure store [a men’s clothing store]. Ted reminds him of the discount he gets on sweaters and vests but Marshall replies that he and Lily aren’t married and don’t have a baby yet. Ted then reminds him that they have the “great apartment” which Marshall says they “can barely afford” and adds that he doesn’t think that their lives are any better than they were three years prior. Barney then appears with a girl named Lisa, who he tells Marshall and Ted they will be seeing more of but when Lisa leaves Barney says that they never saw her again. Then, he goes, “WAZZUP!” Ted then remarks on how in 2000 they had all these fantasies about what their lives would be like but they didn’t pan out but Ted then promises that, “when we’re watching the trilogy in 2006, our lives are gonna be awesome!”
Shoot to Ted’s vision of 2006. The apartment has a grand piano and Ted’s dressed in a tuxedo. Marshall walks in and says that he’s now an environmental lawyer and that “though it isn’t a lucrative field I have my winnings from my historic seven-week run on Wheel of Fortune.
Shoot back to 2003 as Marshall suggests a “small adjustment.”
Shoot back to Ted’s version of 2006, where instead of winning Wheel of Fortune, Marshall was knighted by the Queen. Then, Lily appears wearing a gown and tiara. Marshall addresses her as “Lady Aldrin” and then she tells Marshall how she can’t wait to buy a house close to Marshall’s mother, who she gets along with now. Ted then says they must get to the opera but then says they will hold the opera until they get there since he designed the opera house. Then, Robin appears in a stunning black gown, as Rihanna, the star opera singer, saying, “I’m the same as I was last time only now I’m super rich and fancy” and then says in French that this time she comes from France. Lily then says that “it still makes sense that we all live together.” Then, they all laugh.
Shoot back to 2003 as Marshall asks Barney if he has any predictions for 2006. Barney replies, “Oh, yes. Picture it…”
Shoot to Barney’s version of 2006, where this time, it’s a girl named Jody he appears with, he then tells Marshall and Ted they will be seeing more of her but when Jody leaves Barney says that they never saw her again. Then, he goes, “WAZZUP!”
Shoot back to 2003 as Marshall asks Barney how his life would be any different. Barney replies that it wouldn’t be and that he’s “KFC and you don’t mess with the Colonel’s recipe. I want things to stay exactly the same but with a different hottie cause Barney don’t slurp no sloppy seconds, especially his own.” Ted then repeats that “things are going to get better.” Marshall responds that all he cares about is getting into law school. Ted tells him that he will and that “2006 is going to be awesome.”
Shoot to what really happened in 2006. Ted is on his couch reminding Marshall that he did get into law school like he said he would and that life isn’t so bad. But, Marshall is sitting next to Ted crying that Lily left him. Then, Robin walks in and starts telling Ted about “all the naughty things I’m gonna do…” Then she sees Marshall and Barney come out of the kitchen and says “to cheer up Marshall.” She then tells Marshall, Ted and Barney to hang out while she goes into the bedroom. Ted then tells Marshall that what he’s feeling will pass and “three years from now…”
Shoot to Ted’s version of 2009. Ted’s a successful architect, Marshall is still an environmental lawyer but this time, Robin comes out of the kitchen dressed in a sweet, homemaker looking dress and says to Ted, “But, this time you managed to lock this one down. I never thought I would get married but you talked me into it or rather banged me into it. You’re so good in bed.” She then kisses Ted.
Shoot back to 2006 and Marshall asking Ted how his version of 2009 is going to help him get through losing Lily. Ted then tells Marshall “In three years, not only will Lily be back but…”
Shoot back to Ted’s version of 2009 where Lily appears saying how great it is to be married to Marshall and carrying his child.
Shoot back to 2006 as Marshall tells Ted that he thinks he’s being overly optimistic but asks if he can make an “adjustment.”
Shoot back to Ted’s version of 2009 where Lily appears saying how great it is to be married and having a baby. Then, Lily introduces her husband, a “douchey-looking guy named Trey” [played by Gregory Michael]. Lily adds, “I don’t know what I love more, his mustache or his trucker hat.” Marshall replies that he hates trucker hats. Lily then shows Marshall her sonogram, which is a picture of a baby wearing a trucker hat. Marshall screams, “NO!!!!”
Shoot back to 2006 as Marshall is still screaming and Barney is laughing at the idea of a baby wearing a trucker hat. Then, Barney says that he agrees with Ted that “2009 is going to rule.”
Shoot to Barney’s version of 2009. Barney comes out of the kitchen with yet another girl, its Maya this time and again he tells Marshall and Ted that they’ll be seeing more of her but again as soon as she leaves he says that they never saw her again. Then, he goes, “WAZZUP!”
Shoot back to 2006 as Ted begs Barney to “at least change the what will be by then a nine-year old beer commercial reference.” Marshall then says to Barney, “There has to be one way you’d like the future to be different.” Barney replies that there is one thing.
Shoot back to Barney’s version of 2009. He still comes out of the kitchen with Maya, again tells Marshall and Ted that they’ll be seeing more of her but adds, “not because of these…” He points to her breasts, “but because of these…” Maya turns around and…
Shoot back to 2006 and Barney saying “Back boobs. The visual stimulation of missionary meets the emotional detachment of doggie-style. Patent pending.” Then, he goes, “WAZZUP!” Ted then reiterates to Marshall he promises that in three years, their lives are “going to be great.”
Shoot to what really happened in 2009. Ted is telling that he was right about Lily coming back but not about him and Robin ending up together. “But, I did get engaged…and left at the altar. But, I did start my own architectural firm…but it failed after a few months.” Ted then asks Marshall to put the movie on, he starts to but then asks Ted where Robin is. Then, Ted narrates to his kids that “in the summer of 2009, Barney and Robin were secretly dating.” Ted then tells Marshall that Robin and Barney are taking two different classes on how to decoupage in the same building and that’s why Marshall saw Barney and Robin share a cab recently.
Shoot to Barney and Robin are starting to have sex in his apartment.
Shoot back to Marshall seeming not to believe the lie Ted just told him. But, instead he replies that if Barney isn’t home, they can watch the trilogy on his giant television. Ted’s all for it and they head for Barney’s apartment.
Shoot to Ted and Marshall knocking on Barney’s door. He opens it with no shirt on and out of breath, Ted acts like he’s surprised that Barney’s back from his class. At first, Barney doesn’t know what Ted’s talking about then he remembers the lie he asked Ted to tell Marshall, tells them to wait a minute and closes the door. Two seconds later, Barney opens the door fully dressed in a suit and tells them to come in. Ted asks Barney if he and Marshall can watch the trilogy there. Barney replies that they can but first asks them to go look out his bedroom window because there’s a naked lady jumping up and down on a trampoline in the apartment across the street. While Ted and Marshall run to go look, Barney walks over to the Star Wars Stormtrooper costume he has in his apartment and we see that Robin’s hiding in it. She tells him that she has to get out of the Stormtrooper costume but Barney tells her there’s no time because Ted and Marshall will come back any minute. Robin then tells Barney that she isn’t ready for Ted and Marshall to find out about them. Barney then tells Robin that she’ll have to stay in the costume while he, Ted and Marshall watch the entire trilogy. “Relax, it’s only 362 minutes,” Barney tells her. “Nerd,” Robin replies as she stands still as the guys start watching the trilogy. As they’re watching it, Ted asks Marshall and Barney where they’ll be in three years, 2012. “That’s easy,” Barney replies.
Shoot to Barney’s version of 2012. He comes out of Ted’s kitchen with yet another girl, Sophia. He’s about to tell Marshall and Ted that they’ll be seeing more of Sophia when….
Shoot back to 2009 and Barney’s lamp shatters because Robin threw something that made it break but without Ted or Marshall seeing her move in the Star Wars suit because she’s behind them. Barney looks at her as Marshall says, “I was just trying to use The Force and do you think instead of having a beer levitate from the fridge I made that lamp break?” “Either that or the Stormtrooper did,” replies Ted as he looks at Barney, who starts to laugh and replies that “the Stormtrooper would never do that because he knows that lamp cost $1,200.” Barney then asks the guys if they’ve had the “same fantasy we’ve all had about having sex with a girl in a Stormtrooper costume.” Both Ted and Marshall reply that they’ve never had that fantasy. Barney tells them to be honest because there are no girls around to hear but Ted and Marshall maintain that they’ve never had a fantasy about having sex with a girl in a Stormtrooper costume. “So, I’m the weird one?” Barney asks. Ted and Marshall both reply, “Yeah.” Marshall then asks Ted how he thinks his life will be different in 2012. “You know, the usual, meet a nice girl, get married. I know I say that every year but let’s be honest. In 2012, I’ll be 34. If it still hasn’t happened to me by then, something is seriously wrong with me,” Ted says and they all laugh, even Robin in the Star Wars Stormtrooper costume.
Shoot to 2012 and Ted saying out loud, “Something is seriously wrong with me.”
Shoot back to 2009 as Ted says that he has to stop fooling himself that everything is going to be fine. Marshall can’t believe that Ted doesn’t think that 2012 will be awesome. Ted then starts to say what he thinks his life will be like in 2012.
Shoot to 2012. Ted’s apartment is filled with garbage, he’s balding and calling the phone number printed on the back of his frozen entrée for one. He makes a comment about the entrée then tries to keep the person on the line to talk but they hang up. Then, he calls Marshall to ask him if he wants to watch the trilogy.
Shoot to Marshall and Lily sailing on a boat and Marshall telling Ted that he can’t because he’s “living the idyllic family life you’ve always dreamed of.” He then adds that Lily is pregnant with baby number five. Then, Robin gets on the phone and tells Ted that she’s married to “the douchey-guy in the trucker hat. it turns out it was just you I didn’t want to commit to.” Then, they all laugh as Robin throws the phone overboard. Then, Barney appears to Ted’s apartment with Melanie, who he starts to tell Ted he will be seeing more of when…
Shoot back to now and Barney asking Ted who Melanie is. Ted replies that he knows one thing that won’t change is Barney walking in with some random girl. Barney replies, “No, no I don’t want that. For the first time in my life, in three years I don’t want to find myself with some random girl, no matter how many boobs she has. I want to be with Quinn.” Barney then gets up and tells Marshall and Ted that they’ll be seeing a lot more of Quinn. Marshall replies that they’ve “been to the Lusty Leopard and seen enough.” Barney answers back, “I kinda walked into that one.” Then, he leaves.
Shoot to Barney going back to his apartment and emptying out his coffee mugs. Quinn asks him what he’s doing. He replies, “We’re living together. I’m excited about it and I’m getting rid of my mugs.” He breaks one and Quinn replies that it was hers. Barney apologizes, says he doesn’t know which are hers and which are his and confesses that he never drinks coffee at home. Then, he breaks another one and says he doesn’t need any coffee mugs because he’s got hers, “for the rest of my life.” Quinn looks at Barney and he adds “or as long as you’ll have me. We haven’t really talked about the future. Did I make things awkward?” Quinn just tells Barney to keep breaking mugs. Barney then tells Quinn that he “plans on being with you for a long time. You okay with that?” Quinn takes a mug, breaks it and replies, “Sounds great.” She hugs him and Barney farts. He apologizes but she says it’s okay and that she was hoping because she’s been doing it on the patio for weeks. Barney confesses that he’s been doing it in the street at exactly the same time every night.
Shoot to Chester with his binoculars waiting for Barney to come out like he does every night at that time. “Show yourself!” Chester screams. Behind, Veronica appears holding a suitcase and tells Chester, “I’ll be at my mother’s.”
Shoot back to Quinn asking Barney, “We’re a real couple, aren’t we?” “We are,” Barney replies. They hug tenderly, Barney farts and Quinn chuckles and smiles.
Shoot to Marshall telling Ted that he thinks that “2015 will be your year.” Then, Ted narrates to his kids “that was the one time I ever lost faith at the idea that my life would be better in three years. And what’s funny is, three years from that moment, my life was amazing.”
Shoot to 2015 and Marshall and Barney are watching the trilogy. Barney remarks that it was “lame for Ted to bring a chick.” Marshall asks Barney to cut Ted some slack… “Because he loves her,” Barney says then he admits that “she’s pretty damn cute.” Ted then comes out holding a baby girl in his arms and says, “Thank G-d she takes after her mother.” He then sits down with the baby and they all watch the entire trilogy together. Ted whispers to the baby, “You’re about to see something awesome.” Barney also whispers to the baby, “Know this, Han shot first.” Marshall then asks if things will be different when they watch the trilogy in 2018. Ted replies, “I hope not.”
Shoot to Barney naked and out of breath saying, “That was awesome.” Suddenly, someone in the Star Wars Stormtrooper costume pops up, the person takes off the helmet and it’s Quinn who replies, “Totally, not weird.” She then puts the helmet back on and they go back to having sex.