Beltway Banthas #49: The People’s Star Wars ft. Anthony Breznican

by Beltway Banthas

In our latest episode delving into the politics of The Last Jedi, we are joined by Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican to discuss populism in the film! Do we use this term correctly? Are we actually seeing what is traditionally known as “populism” in the film? What does it really mean for common people to rise to power? We tackle all these questions and more!

From the children on Canto Bight rebelling against their oppressors to Rey being from “nowhere,” we see a rejection of legacy and hierarchy in the latest Star Wars film. What’s the history of populism in Star Wars? Is populism a good force in the real world or has it led to more destabilization? In this discussion we hope to find at least some of the answers.

Beltway Banthas #49: The People’s Star Wars (guest Anthony Breznican)


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Politics and Star Wars fuse together on this unique and fascinating show! Beltway Banthas is your place for insightful political commentary featuring the galaxy far, far, away. Beltway Banthas is a Star Wars podcast about the intersection of fandom and the things that drive daily life. For hosts Stephen Kent & Swara Salih, one of those things is politics. Star Wars draws from our world’s politics just as much as it contributes to it by influencing policymakers, journalists and thought leaders.

On the show, you’ll learn about the politics within the Star Wars universe, from Alderaan & Naboo’s monarchies to the function of the Senate on Coruscant. In between episodes we feature interviews with real world change-makers, and talk with them about how Star Wars impacted their lives and view of the world.

Stephen Kent lives outside of DC with his wife and daughter. He works at a political non-profit that does outreach to millennials. He enjoys political podcasts, cosplay, and making jokes that only he thinks are funny.

Swara Salih is a true believer, in both The Force and the importance of politics. As an activist, writer and aspiring Jedi, Swara came to Beltway Banthas as a listener and is now with the show full time. He’s a Data Analyst working to get city governments to use data better.

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