Were the Jedi sincere in their pursuit of balancing the Force? Luke Skywalker didn’t seem to think so in The Last Jedi when describing the Jedi Order to an impressionable Rey. He sees balance as allowing for light and dark to co-exist, compliment and challenge the other. How far can one take this before people get hurt?
Swara Salih and John Liang of Beltway Banthas review the new Star Wars: Resistance series, plus assess and debate the firing of Chuck Wendig by Marvel. Is politics too hot for creators to voice their opinions?
Are Russian bots behind the divide around The Last Jedi? Stephen chatted with researcher Morten Bay to discuss the results of his study on Twitter reaction to the film. Swara and Stephen discuss whether or not Russian bots and trolls amplified the negative reaction to the film.
Welcome back to Beltway Banthas and brace yourself for a ride through hyperspace in higher quality audio with host, Stephen Kent. The show had some hiccups this week with the whole team migrating to new homes and getting unpacked, but Stephen found a closet and an article in SyFyWire about Star Wars politics to review.
Welcome back to Beltway Banthas! Swara and Stephen are BOTH moving this week to new homes and this was as good a time as any to share some audio from over the summer. Stephen met up with New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat for a discussion on Star Wars and politics. It’s a well-rounded conversation with a lot of focus on Star Wars strengths AND weaknesses. We hope you enjoy and aren’t distracted by the ambient noise of the conference.
Bethany Lacina is an associate professor of political science at the University of Rochester and she took a dive into “Star Wars Twitter” to get a better understanding of fandom and why it’s so toxic. She looked at the vitriol surrounding Kelly Marie Tran and wrote “How common is such harassment? In my research, I have investigated this phenomenon on Twitter, where offensive language and hate speech have a modest but clear presence — not because of automated accounts (“bots”) but because of humans. People use degrading language more frequently when they talk about women and minorities and when they talk to female fans.”
Hello Banthas! Swara and Stephen are back for Episode 60 to with some exclusive audio from Dragon Con 2018, a great panel on Crime & Politics in Star Wars. We also riff on the bombshell anonymous op-ed in the New York Times by a member of the Trump administration about the work being done on the inside to restrain his worst impulses from the inside. Is there a Star Wars tie-in? You bet there is! And finally, we talk about the Disney union workers vote for higher wages – with a little disagreement to be had on the topic.
Brooks wrote Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict. You can check out Strategy Strikes Back by Max Brooks on Amazon by clicking the image below.
The Empire is coming for your moisture farm! Today on the show we discuss politically charged deleted scenes that never made it into the final cut of Star Wars films. Our main focus is a discussion between Biggs and Luke Skywalker about the “imperialization” of industry. Abby Gleason fills in for Swara and we are joined by Brittany Hunter to talk socialism in space, bourgeois Biggs and more.
We’re back! Stephen and Swara are back to discuss whether President Trump treats the media like Palpatine treated the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars. Both institutions are meant to be a positive check on power and injustice. Has Trump succeeded in shifting the public narrative against the media as Palpatine did with the Jedi? Tune in to find out!
We have a jam-packed episode for y’all before our hiatus! First Stephen and Swara give their review of Solo. We then present Swara’s conversation with Matt Rogers (@Politidope) to talk about the politics of the Resistance on the Left and parallels we find with Star Wars, all from the prequels to the sequels. Finally the hosts give their final Bantha Fodders for the season before our two month hiatus!
Mark Hamill is a Hollywood legend for his depiction of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies. He is also a staunch believer in speaking on about politics. In this weeks episode we look at Mark Hamill’s public stand on gun control, President Trump and how he balances Star Wars with politics alongside the fans. This is part of a larger conversation on pop culture and whether or not our hyper politicized society has made it harder to enjoy art.
The Star Wars franchise has been becoming more visibly diverse on the screen, but will LucasFilm go further on issues of representation? Swara, the hosts of Book Wars Pod and Rebel Grrrl, are joined by Star Wars: Last Shot author Daniel Jose Older and others to discuss this topic. The online campaign that emerged as a result of this effort is called #SWRepMatters.